Eric Hanson first noticed the lump in his chest in 2018.

“I kept passing it off as many other things,” Hanson said. “I didn’t expect it to be anything in particular, maybe a bug bite or something of that nature. And I realized that it wasn’t going away.”

After talking to his wife, he realized it was time to get checked.

“Once she touched it, she immediately had a look at of despair on her face,” Hanson said. “She said that I needed to get that checked. And when we did… I was diagnosed with breast cancer.”

Today, Hanson is cancer-free, but those early days were harrowing for Hanson and his family.

After being diagnosed, he sought treatment at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

“I had a partial mastectomy. They removed the tumor from my chest and they removed a few of the lymph nodes which came back as clean,” Hanson said. “After that, we proceeded down the road of six weeks of daily radiation treatment.”

Despite the lows of treatment, Hanson and his wife wanted to stay positive.

“When you’re dealing with cancer, if you don’t come up with rules on your own, then cancer gets to come up with all the rules,” Hanson said. “And so one of the things that we did is my wife and I came up with the rule that for every time we cried, we had to laugh. And we did a good job on that. I think we really, really did a good job on that.”

While they found laughter in dark moments, he said it was important to know that the road wouldn’t be easy.

“When you’re expecting disappointment, disappointment pops up,” Hanson said. “It’s less disappointing. It’s less troubling to you because you’re already expecting that to happen throughout the period.”

By sharing his story, Eric hopes men will see that breast cancer can affect anyone.

“As a male you don’t expect to get breast cancer,” Hanson said. “Of course, only about 1 in 800 men will get breast cancer, and just the stigma of being a male having breast cancer.It results in a lot of men not talking about it.”