World Cancer Day takes place every year on Feb. 4. It is a day to come together to honor those that have been impacted by cancer and to spread awareness. Blue Yonder associate Patrick Humphreys shares his story and why the day is important to him.

Please share a little bit about yourself and role at Blue Yonder:

Last month I celebrated five years at Blue Yonder! I work on the Warehouse Management System (WMS) SME team and really enjoy my work – it keeps me challenged! I like helping people and seeing tools be deployed to customers. It’s an exciting time at this company and in my role.

You are passionate about sharing your story, can you tell us about it?

Seven years ago, I noticed blood on my shirt while playing with my son, who was only 11 months old at the time. At first, I thought it was coming from him, which made me really concerned – but realized it was actually from me. This did not seem normal, and I quickly scheduled an appointment with my doctor.

My doctor was able to see me quickly and believed that breast cancer could very well be a possibility – so I got a mammogram which confirmed it. Hearing the big “C” word was scary. It was quite shocking to be a male with breast cancer at the relatively young age of 38. [Editor’s Note: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men account for about 1 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosis in the U.S.]

After the diagnosis, what were next steps?

The typical breast cancer protocols were followed. The months following, I had a lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy, radiation treatment, and hormone therapy. Fortunately, the tumor was very small (about 2 cm) and categorized as Stage 1.

Did you find that being a cancer survivor has given you a different perspective on life?

Absolutely – especially as a new parent at the time, I thought a lot about my legacy and things I could have potentially missed out on in my son’s life. The experience has given me a better appreciation for life and family. And of course, it also made me think about prioritizing overall health.

What is the one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

If you notice something out of the ordinary, regardless of what it is, please don’t wait to have it checked out by a doctor. If I hadn’t gone to the doctor right away when I noticed something was wrong, the situation could have been very different. People, especially men, tend to put off going to the doctor for routine appointments. My story really shows the importance of taking care of your health and being attentive.

Is there one piece of advice you’d provide to someone on how to best support a person living with cancer?

First, don’t panic! Not every cancer is a death sentence, most are treatable, and trust me, the patient is freaking out plenty for both of you. Second, and probably most important, just be empathetic and understanding. Even the most treatable cancers can be stressful physically, mentally and financially. Just being a friend to lean on, a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic ear, or someone to laugh with goes a long way.

Learn more about breast cancer in men, including the symptoms and risk factors here.