By Kathy Walsh
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– According to the American Cancer Society, about one in 1,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. A grandfather from Aurora is that unlucky one, but luckily he caught it twice.
Phil Deal is the real deal. He is “Papa,” who adores his grandkids and he is a loving husband and father. Every moment with family is precious to Phil. He is fighting stage 4 cancer.
“Breast cancer,” he told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
And this is round two. Phil first discovered it in 1999, by what he refers to as “the divine itch.”
“I had an itch and when I scratched I felt something that wasn’t right,” he said.
The lump in his breast was cancer. He had a mastectomy and chemotherapy. Phil is glad he acted quickly.
“I think it saved my life,” he said.
“I would agree with that,” said Dr. Jose Mayordomo, Phil’s oncologist at the University of Colorado Hospital.
Mayordomo has been treating Phil ever since the breast cancer came back in 2015, 18 years later. Breast cancer is rare in men.
“It’s approximately 100 women with breast cancer for one man,” explained Mayordomo.
This time the cancer is in Phil’s bones and liver and Mayordomo says it can’t be cured completely.
“But we can keep it at bay,” the oncologist said.
Phil has had chemotherapy and is on his third clinical trial. He’s counting on good medicine, great support and God.
“The power of prayer means a lot to me,” Phil said.
He is hoping it means more time for play with the people he adores.
Phil is a strong proponent of what UCHealth calls “mantenance,” a commitment for men to take care of themselves making health a priority.