Will Roth faced breast cancer head on and won.
Thousands of kilometres away, Ken Stonestreet is doing the same — and hopes for the same result.
The pair — Mr Roth, an avid golfer from Vancouver in the United States, and Mr Stonestreet, a ‘‘knockaround bloke’’ from Campbelltown — met recently to share the rarity of their experiences.
Male breast cancer is so rare that it accounts for less than one per cent of all cancers in men and less than one per cent of all breast cancers.
But, Mr Stonestreet said, men have breast tissue too so it’s not unusual that they should develop breast cancer, even though it’s not common.
He said speaking with breast cancer survivor Mr Roth was ‘‘enlightening’’.
‘‘I don’t know many other men with breast cancer so it was good to meet him,’’ Mr Stonestreet said.
Mr Roth’s visit coincided with international breast cancer month and he was the invited guest of Camden’s Roz Hill, the founder of Young Adults Program (YAP), a breast cancer awareness website for young men and women.
The pair met shortly after Mr Roth was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago.
‘‘It was all a blur but I sat down and googled male breast cancer and YAP came up,’’ Mr Roth said, adding he and Ms Hill went from being email acquaintances to strong advocates of breast cancer awareness.
He praised Ms Hill’s work with the website, saying YAP had educated a generation of people to understand breast cancer was not gender biased.
Sharing his story on Ms Hill’s website and speaking at events to raise awareness was ‘‘pay back so that I can help ease someone else’s tension,’’ he said.
Which is what he did for Mr Stonestreet whom he met at the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre.
‘‘We got talking and found out we have much in common. Unlike Ken, when I was going through treatment there was no one else going through it that I could talk to about it,’’ he said.