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ARRENTON, Va., Jun 10, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Former Sen. Edward W. Brooke, R-Mass., is speaking for the first time on his experience having breast cancer.
Brooke, who in 1966 became the first black elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction, told The New York Times developing breast cancer was the most shocking thing to that ever happened to him.
Last September, Brooke underwent a double mastectomy.
While breast cancer in men is rare, a higher percentage of men than women die of the disease because it is typically detected at a much later stage.
All men have some breast tissue, even if it is not noticeable. Cancer researchers estimate breast cancer will be diagnosed in 1,500 men this year and roughly 400 of them will eventually die of the illness.
Of the approximately 211,000 new cases of breast cancer that will be diagnosed this year in women, an estimated 40,000 will lead to death.
Copyright 2003 by United Press International.