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Couple fights breast cancer together

October 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many married couples face obstacles together, but one local couple had to deal with an unusually difficult battle. Both were diagnosed with breast cancer. They both love style and beauty. A Tarzana couple shares the joy of owning the Allen Edwards Salon Encino. But Paul and June Canter also share something else -- breast cancer.

June went through it in 2000, Paul held her hand every step of the way. A few years later it was his turn.

"Now he's going to know what it feels like to have a mammogram and an ultrasound. It was just so surreal to me that I was sitting in the waiting room and he was getting done," said June Canter.

"Men don't often get breast cancer," said Dr. Silvana Martino, Angeles Clinic.

Dr. Martino treated both husband and wife.

Since breast cancer cases among men account for less than one percent of cases. Few patients and even doctors have it on their radar. Men rarely look for lumps.

"All of those things lead to males being diagnosed at a somewhat more advanced stage of breast cancer," said Dr. Martino.

Paul's tumor was less than two centimeters. He found it early because of unusual circumstances.

He was recovering from a heart transplant and the steroids he was taking made his breasts swell.

"I was rubbing myself and thought what is this?" said Paul Canter.

Paul knew he had to see a doctor right away. He watched how his wife handled her ordeal.

"When they told me I had it I first went into shock and then I went into action," said June Canter.

Paul had a tumor in his right breast. He decided to get a double mastectomy. Today he has a deeper understanding of what women go through. He thanks June for setting a good example.

"You can save your life. And if you don't go into denial you can save your life," said June Canter.

"Think of living, and think you are going to be okay," said Paul Canter.

June Canter was declared cancer free in June 2005. Her husband Paul was declared cancer free following his double mastectomy. He's been taking the anti-cancer therapy tamoxifen since then.


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