CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The month of October is dedicated to shining the light on Breast Cancer Awareness.
Many don't realize it's not a disease that just affects women. Close to 3,000 men die from breast cancer every year.
Richard Robinson is an 11-year breast cancer survivor.
Robinson learned he had been diagnosed with breast cancer on his birthday.
" I was getting ready go out and celebrate my birthday when the phone rang and it was the doctor," he said. "I thought he was calling to see if I was going to be there for surgery in a few days but he said did they tell you? Tell me what? That you have breast cancer."
That's when Robinson says, his life changed forever.
It was 2011 on his 51st birthday. Thankfully, his story has a happy ending, but not all men are so lucky.
Thousands of men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and 2,700 of them will die from it. Most men don't do routine testing like women for breast cancer so by the time it is detected, it's often too late.
Doctor David Saldana with Radiology and Imaging says, " It's typically found at a later stage in so the prognosis is usually worse which is why we really need to encourage education."
In Robinson's case, medical staff first though it was a cyst and performing tests, when a doctor confirmed, it was breast cancer.
In total, Robinson underwent a mastectomy, eight rounds of chemotherapy and 35 days of radiation treatments.
Robinson says, more men be to be body aware. And go to the doctor if something doesn't feel right.
"I tell my male friends it's better to know than to not now," he said. "I'd rather know I have six months to live six months the best I can and like to know."
Robinson now spend his time bringing awareness to breast cancer in men, raising money for Real Men Wear Pink and speaking to several groups throughout the year.
He says he grateful and is living his new life doing a little more.
"I go out a lot now in nature," Robinson said. "I get up early in the morning sometimes just watch the sunrise. I feel great!"
Doctors say, it's important for men to understand risk factors.
In Robinson's case he had cancer cases on both sides of his family which put him at high risk. If he would have been more educated he would've known to get tested earlier and more frequently.
When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key for survival - for both men and women.