Ten years ago, Arnaldo Silva noticed a lump on his chest. After going to a doctor and getting a mammogram, he learned that he had breast cancer.
Breast cancer in men is rare (according to the National Institutes of Health, male breast cancer accounts for less than one percent of all breast cancer diagnosis worldwide), but Arnaldo’s diagnosis and the discovery that he carried a genetic predisposition to cancer led other members of his family to get tested as well. Soon after, his daughter, Vanessa Silva-Welch, learned that she too had breast cancer.
During their treatments, Arnaldo and Vanessa became each other’s support systems as they went through chemotherapy and fought cancer together. And while Arnaldo is now cancer free, four months ago Vanessa received a new breast cancer diagnosis and once again began treatment.
At StoryCorps, they discuss their battles with cancer and Arnaldo’s concern that his children will remember him as the one who passed this hereditary disease on to them.
Originally aired July 29, 2016, on NPR’s Morning Edition.