Portice battling breast cancer; In U.S. 2,600 men per year diagnosed

FIGHTING ON–Steve Portice, middle, along with his mom and dad, Janice and George Portice. Steve was diagnosed with male breast cancer in June 2016 and is now being treated with chemotherapy through the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, IL. Steve is currently on his 16/18 treatment of chemo.

by Melissa Newland
This year, an estimated 2,600 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. It is estimated 440 men will die from breast cancer this year. But for Steve Portice of Rose City, MI, grandson of the late Andrew McGee and Maggie Mae Portice of Skanee and son of George and Janice Portice of Twining, MI, these statistics are not going to include him! Steve was diagnosed with a 2.5-cm HER2/neu-positive stage IIIB breast cancer in June of 2016 after feeling a lump in his left breast. His diagnosis was confirmed after surgery was done Sept. 12, 2016 to remove the lump, along with 21 lymph nodes, among which four were found positive for cancer. A Stage IIIB tumor is characterized by having spread to the chest wall or has caused swelling or ulceration of the breast or is diagnosed as inflammatory breast cancer. It may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes under the arm, but it has not spread to other parts of the  body. HER2/neu testing is recommended because the outlook for HER2-positive cancers is reportedly improved if drugs targeting the HER2/neu protein are used as part of treatment. In some men with breast cancer, the cancer cells have too much of a growth-promoting protein known as HER2/neu (or just HER2) on their surface. Breast cancers with too much of this protein are called HER2 positive. They tend to grow and spread more aggressively without special treatment.  To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.