Black and white close-up of a man's hands, clasped around a subway pole. He's wearing an “I (heart) boobies” breast cancer support bracelet.
Apparently Medicaid doesn't heart Raymond Johnson's boobies because he's a man. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Abigail Guzman/Flickr)

Thought it’s more common in women, men can develop breast cancer. While male breast tissue is not quite as complex and specialized as female mammary glands, malignant tumors can still grow in the breast and  metastasize. Raymond Johnson, 26, of South Carolina knows this all too well – and his Medicaid won’t cover treatment.

Breast cancer hits 2,100 men per year

The American Cancer Society estimates that 2,100 U.S. men per year are diagnosed with breast cancer. Some, like Raymond Johnson, are low-income; others are disabled. Both groups often depend upon Medicaid for health insurance. Johnson’s $9-an-hour, 30-hours-per-week tradesman job doesn’t provide insurance, so when he discovered he had breast cancer, he tried for Medicaid, but didn’t qualify.

“I didn’t even know men could get breast cancer,” says Johnson, who discovered he had breast cancer after he went into the ER with chest pains. “I’m young. I didn’t think anything bad could really happen to me.”

He’s young – and he’s a man

Johnson was advised to seek help through the Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, an 11-year-old federal law that earmarks some Medicaid funds for breast or cervical cancel patients who don’t otherwise qualify for Medicaid because their income is too high.

However, as Jeff Stensland of the South Carolina Department for Health and Human Services points out, income wasn’t what disqualified Raymond Johnson. Medicaid denied coverage because he is a man. One of the qualifications for Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act funds is that the applicant be female.

“We want to cover this guy,” said Stensland, “but we simply can’t. We are again urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reconsider.”

Raymond Johnson’s breast cancer is at Stage II

Stage II breast cancer is Johnson’s current diagnosis. According to, the stage is divided into two subcategories, IIA and IIB, depending upon the size of the malignant tumor. As a tumor has been found in his breast, Johnson may be suffering from the more advanced Stage IIB, although additional details are necessary for corroboration. If Stage IIB is the prognosis, the tumor is at least 2 centimeters in size but no larger than 5 centimeters, and it may have already spread to the lymph nodes.

Despite the setback, Johnson told local media that he’s feeling “pretty good,” as he is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Surgery may be necessary for his survival, but he doesn’t know how he’ll pay.

“The bills are going to be huge,” said Johnson.

Raymond Johnson has breast cancer


American Cancer Society:

International Business Times:


National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program:

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)


Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]