TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — We’ve all heard about the importance of regular mammograms and examinations to catch breast cancer early.

One Baltimore County man is hoping his story will serve as another reminder after he was surprised by a breast cancer diagnosis.

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Rick Yaffe feels lucky that his work is his passion. He went from a home builder to a firefighter to owning a fleet of 80 ambulances.

A year ago, though, he thought his luck might have run out when he was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Doctors found a cancerous lump, and Yaffe has since had surgery and is on medications.

Tuesday, he visited his doctor for a one-year checkup to see if the cancer had returned. Luckily, he learned it had not come back.

The UM St. Joseph Breast Center in Towson sees around four to five male patients per week.

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Fewer than one percent of men will never get breast cancer so they don’t have regular mammograms or examinations. When they are diagnosed, their mortality rate is 19 percent higher than women.

“Stage for stage, we find it later in men,” center director Dr. Michael Schultz said. “Normally for a male, it’s picked up as a palpable mass or nodule.”

Yaffe had a mass, which was removed along with his breast. He has a scar, and now his nipple is a tattoo.

“I thought it looked silly with just one nipple, so I wanted a second nipple,” he said.

Now Yaffe is back in the driver’s seat with some advice.

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“Though the instances are very rare that it might happen, it could happen and if you can catch it early you’re going to be a whole lot better off,” he said.