The Harbinger Online

East Grad Fights for Breast Cancer Awareness

When Bret Miller, an East graduate, was 17 he found a lump on his chest.
“Its probably calcium build up, let’s keep an eye on it,” doctors said.He kept an eye on it for seven years, until he was due for a physical.  As he walked out the door, heading to the doctor’s, his mother, Peggy Miller, screamed at him to ask about the lump. As the doctor was on his way out, Brett pulled him back in.“I forgot, my mom would kill me if I didn’t ask,” he said.He pulled up his shirt and showed the doctor his chest. This time, the doctor stopped and looked. He sent Bret to get a sonogram, and then a mammogram in room 211: Women’s Clinic. A few days later, he received the results, he had Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Stage 1 breast cancer.

“If you survive this, I need you to be the face of male breast cancer,” Bret’s primary care physician Dr. Lon McCroskey (Class of 1969) said. Bret agreed, he would do anything if he survived this.

Now, 2 years later, at 27, Bret is free of cancer and living up to his word. At the basketball game Feb. 5 against Olathe South, Bret gave a presentation about building awareness and early detection of breast cancer. His current oncologist in Dr. Richard McKittrick, whose kids go to East, and being a former student, Bret wanted to share his knowledge with his high school.

“Our presentation will be about Building Awareness in the Youth in High School and College,” Bret said. “ I was in high school when I first found the lump and was told it was nothing.”

He spoke about the importance checking yourself for breast cancer. The Bret Miller 1T Foundation, a foundation Bret founded to spread breast cancer awareness especially in males, was the first group to make self-check videos featuring a male model.

“The National Consortium of Breast Centers had previously done [a self check video] many many years ago,” Bret said. “ [They] contacted us to update it as well as add a video for males, for which I was the model.”

FORD Warriors in Pink, which helps people battling cancer to spread the word, have given out bandanas to the health classes to wear to the game, and they were handed out at the Blue and Pink game this Tuesday, during Bret’s presentation.

“I hope that students learn that it can happen to anyone. Breast Cancer does not discriminate,” Bret said. “You are your own best doctor so know your body, because early detection can save your life!”

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Taylor Bell

Taylor Bell is a senior at East. This is her second year on staff and her first year as a staff photographer. Along with The Harbinger, she is on the swim team and gymnastics team. Read Full »

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