Local man shares story of his father's breast cancer battle

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LANSING, MI (AP) -- Edward Jacque III describes his father as a man who was witty, smart, and could fill a room with laughter.

"Honestly I miss his laugh," said his son Edward Jacque III. "I miss his laugh so much. He had the best sense of humor. He even had a sense of humor when it came to breast cancer."

A lawyer and professor at Michigan State University at the time, it was in 2010 Edward Jacque Senior was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"He was getting out of his car and he hit his breast on the door and it wasn't getting better," said Jacque. "His nipple was inverted. They did tests. Within a week he got a mastectomy."

After his father's diagnosis, his son did some research and found out there was a history of breast cancer in their family with women.

That's when he decided to get tested, discovering he, too, carried the BRACA 1 gene.

"I'll never forget what my dad said to me when I found out. He said don't say I never gave you anything. He always had such a sense of humor," said Jacque.

Years later while in remission, father and son were getting ready to leave for vacation in 2016 when tragedy struck again.

The cancer was back and more aggressive.

Throughout chemo and radiation, Edward continued to power through.

He showed up to work everyday, using his infamous sense of humor to get him through the most difficult time of his life.

"Students used to come to him with excuses for days off and he'd ask if they went through radiation and chemo because if they didn't, they better have a really good excuse," said Jacque.

Edward passed away August of 2016, leaving his family with broken hearts, but the need to press the message his father would've wanted everyone to know.

"I think my dad would like people to know men can get breast cancer. That is the biggest thing," said Jacque.

According to studies, while male breast cancer is rare, men are often diagnosed at a later, more critical stage because they're less likely to notice or report symptoms.

"This could sound very sexist but men are men. We think we don't have breasts. We have pecs. We have abs. We're manly. But you do. You have breasts. You have the same glands and lymph nodes in your body as women. You can get in cancer in those," said Jacque.

Some symptoms to look out for are in men and women are lumps or hard knots in the breast area or armpit, change in size of the breast, inverted nipples or unusual discharge from the nipples

Jacque says even if you don't have symptoms, if breast cancer runs in your family, start taking steps now to stay ahead of it.

"It's not horrible. It doesn't mean me finding out I have the mutation means I am going to die of cancer. It just means I have to be more proactive."

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