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Spencer Braun, Norton, Kansas, is a farmer, rancher, and cancer survivor who wants to celebrate with the Phelps Memorial Oncology team who he says “are the best.” Spencer recently completed his last chemo treatment before he undergoes a mastectomy in November.

Spencer was diagnosed with breast cancer in early May. Although it is rare, men can get breast cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the United States is found in a man. 

Spencer urges men to “not dismiss it” when they feel something usual.

“I felt something the size of a pea at the end of January. I let it go,” he said. Spencer said he wanted to get through corn planting.

"I never went to the doctor for breast cancer – I went to my family doctor for insomnia,” he said. 

“My wife told me to be sure to ask my doctor to look at it while I was in my appointment.”

By the time he went in, his medical provider Chuck Christie, PA-C, Family Medical Specialties, said the lump on his chest was the size of a ping pong ball.

When he got the results back from his scan he was told it was Stage 3 and aggressive.  “I give Chuck kudos for not dismissing this as some type of fatty lump and getting me in to get scans and a biopsy right away. I dismissed it, I’m thankful he did not.”

Spencer added that he feels very lucky he caught it at Stage 3 because many times, men don’t catch this type of cancer early.

He said, “I wanted it to be nothing. I did. There’s nothing more crippling mentally than hearing the news it’s cancer and it’s rare. The wind was taken out of my sails.”

Spencer and his wife, Jenny, said they knew they were in the right place at Phelps Memorial. Their care team includes the Phelps Memorial oncology team and physicians from Cancer Partners of Nebraska.

Spencer said he likes Stacey VanBoening, APRN, and Steven Dunder, MD.

He proudly wears his shirt that he had printed for his family and the oncology team that says “When life gives you lemons, sign up for a double shot of Dunder.” The words “Dunder Thunder” are printed on the back in an IV bag. 

“You have to trust,” said Spencer. “These people know what they are doing and they do it with a smile on their face.” 

Spencer and his wife praised the Phelps Memorial Oncology team and told they are like family. 

“This can be a dark period in one’s life, they come in with a smile on their face every day. We even laugh and have had some practical jokes” said Spencer with a grin. 

“At first, I didn’t want to tell anyone I had breast cancer but now I tell everyone. “I’m on prayer chains in 21 states and tell men feel yourself up,” he said.

Spencer and Jenny have two daughters Jade, 28, and Slayten, 19, and son Gavin, 15, who just got pink and blacks bands put on his braces to show his support for his dad.

Once Spencer completes surgery and heals, he will be coming back for several months of maintenance chemo and is looking forward to “ringing the bell” with the Oncology team at Phelps Memorial.

“If you find a lump, get to a doctor, what are you waiting for?” he said.