Medicaid Will Not Provide Breast Cancer Coverage for Men
Raymond Johnson, a 26-year-old construction worker from Charleston, S.C., was recently told that Medicaid would not be providing coverage for his
breast cancer treatment because he is not a woman. Johnson has said he was shocked once he learned the diagnosis, which doctors discovered after he
experienced chest pain during the recent Independence Day weekend.
Johnson will undergo chemotherapy and surgery to remove his cancer, but he’s still not quite sure how he’ll foot the bill.
Every couple of years or so, a case of a male getting the disease puts men with breast cancer in the forefront. In 2002 for instance, former Sen.
Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass.) was diagnosed with the disease after his wife felt a lump under his right nipple. According to various reports, Brooke had
suffered chest pain for some time but never thought it might be breast cancer.
More recently, Kiss drummer Peter Criss put men and breast cancer in the spotlight with his own battle with the disease. He initially found out he had
breast cancer in 2008, and has since become an outspoken advocate of early treatment.
The American Cancer society’s pages on breast cancer state that an estimated 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, which makes it quite
rare because about 100 times more women get the disease. Men – just like women – are more likely to develop cancer if they have certain mutations of
the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Age and family history have also been known to contribute to a man’s likelihood of developing the disease. Furthermore,
obesity, heavy drinking, and exposure to radiation are believed to be risk factors, as well.