Community Catalyst: Cecil Herrin

He’s a familiar face at the Georgia Cancer Center with a passion to help men living with cancer. His name is Cecil Herrin and he is a breast cancer survivor.

“The one thing I would love for everybody to know about men’s breast cancer is to take care of their body,” said Herrin. “You know your body more than anybody else. If you feel something, like a lump, you need to get it checked by your doctor.”

Herrin has organized walks, basketball games and other types of fundraisers for the Georgia Cancer Center, bringing in over $82,000 to help male cancer patients. Because of his consistent generosity, members of the Office of Advancement helped Herrin establish the Cecil Herrin Men’s Cancer Support Fund and Endowment. The fund provides gas cards for patients traveling to the Georgia Cancer Center for treatment, covers the cost of lodging for those who have to stay overnight in Augusta and can help cover the costs of other needs patients have during their cancer treatment.

“I knew when I woke up from surgery to remove my breast that God had given me a purpose,” said Herrin. “We have support for women and children, but you don’t have any support for us men. So I knew I had to step up and change that.”

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), men make up less than one percent of all breast cancer cases. NCI statistics show men between 60 and 70 years of age are most likely to develop the cancer. While the number of cases may be rare, Herrin said he wants to be a light to every man about making sure they are doing self-exams regularly.

“This is something that really needs to come out of the shadows,” he said. “My mission is all about getting the word out because early detection is so important for men and women.”

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About the author

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.