Edward Brooke was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and in September 2002 had a double mastectomy. After a period of recovery and reflection on June 4, 2003, Brooke started to share his story about male breast cancer in order to raise awareness for this rare condition. He would continue to speak on that subject as he had opportunity for the next 12 years of his life.
Edward Brooke said the following in June 2003 about raising awareness of male breast cancer:
I want to produce some male breast cancer awareness on a national level. I'm a very private person, but if I have to give up my privacy to save a life, then I am willing to do that. Because if you have breast tissue, you can get breast cancer. Don't forget that (Edward Brooke as quoted in USA Today, Sen. Brooke Advocates Male Breast Cancer Awareness, June 24, 2003).
The American Cancer Society indicates that 1 in 1,000 men will develop breast cancer (Dr. Sharon Giordano, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Tackling the Rare and Under-Researched Area of Male Breast Cancer, January 23, 2015). Men are less likely than women to get screened for breast cancer because it is a rare disease for them. This can make the prognosis more dire and stresses the importance of famous men like Edward Brooke raising awareness of breast cancer.
The following are some links on Edward Brooke and his crusade for male breast cancer awareness.
- The New York Times, Surprise Roll for Ex-Senator: Male Breast Cancer Patient, Lynette Clemetson, June 10, 2003.
- USA Today, Sen. Brooke Advocates Male Breast Cancer Awareness, June 24, 2003.
- Beliefnet, Famous Men Who Battled Breast Cancer.
Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.
The photo of Edward Brooke is in the Public Domain.