Author: Richard Wassersug

Masculinity, Emasculation, and Breast Cancer in Men

For some reason news stories on sex-associated cancers are most common in the months of September, October, and November. This may be because September is officially Prostate Cancer Month. October is Breast Cancer Month. And November is the month when the Movember Foundation encourages men to grow moustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues, in particular prostate and testicular cancer. Last October, there was a flood of stories about breast cancer. However, what was unusual this time around was the attention given to stories about breast cancer in men. This coverage was driven by a variety of factors, but two stand out. The first is that Beyoncé’s father has breast cancer and that provided a journalistic hook for stories about the challenges men face with that disease. The New York Times, CNN and many other media outlets jumped on the bandwagon. A second hook, which bridged the three months, was the realization that many of the same genetic mutations that are indicative of aggressive breast cancer are also indicative of aggressive prostate cancer. The …