To be on the safe side, the doctor ordered a mammogram and biopsy.
An incredulous Ron soon heard the words many men believe impossible to hear: you have breast cancer.
Ron was one of the estimated 2,000 new cases of breast cancer being diagnosed in men each year in the United States.
While breast cancer and the breast cancer movement are closely associated with women, 1% of all new breast cancer cases belong to men.
Although Ron was fortunate to have strong support from his family and a healthy sense of humor with him on his road to recovery, being diagnosed with the disease can leave some men feeling isolated as relatively little information on male breast cancer and few support groups exist.
"Even the breast cancer center at the hospital did not have a men's room," joked Ron about the disparity in breast cancer cases.
While Ron is now cancerfree thanks to the "marvelous" care provided, he wants perceptions to change.
"Men need to check themselves," he says. "It's amazing how many people think men can't get this disease."
To prove his point, Ron says an unrelated buddy from his poker group was just diagnosed as well, and Ron's open discussion about his own diagnosis may have led his friend to see the doctor sooner, greatly improving his survival odds.
"My buddy and I now have a support group of two," laughs Ron.
There are certain increased risk factors for male breast cancer, including having a disease related to high levels of estrogen in the body or having a several female relatives who have had breast cancer. In Ron's case, both his mother and sister had previously been diagnosed with the disease.
To learn more about male breast cancer or to get involved with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, please call 216.292.CURE or visit www.komenneohio.org.