COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) -- When it comes to breast cancer, many people believe it's a woman's fight. Although it's rare, men can develop the disease too.
"I had to be that damn 1 percent. I don't know why me, but I was the one," former state Senator Kay Patterson said.
Patterson had always been in good shape.
"I have never ever been 'sick' and I was just in good health," he said.
That was until 2003.
"I noted that my left breast didn't feel right and through self examination I felt a lump," Patterson said.
That year after seeing numerous doctors, he was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I was surprised as hell that a man would have cancer of the breast," he said.
Patterson said the surgery was a cakewalk, but the chemotherapy was a whole different story.
"It was hell going through that chemo, now. That chemo is a dog and it zaps all of your energy," Patterson said.
While he was sick, Patterson still found the strength to stay in the senate.
"I had the energy, I didn't have much, but I had enough to go," he said. "I found out that if you're doing something you really love and something you want to do, that's better than staying home, looking out the window and feeling sorry for yourself."
After retiring from the senate in 2007, Patterson helps other men battling breast cancer.
"If anything I can do to help people and explain to them what's going on to their bodies and what's happening to them and how it's best for them to deal with it, I'm amenable to that," Patterson said.
Patterson will be honored at the Pink Tie Charity Auction by Real Men Wear Pink.
The event is this Saturday, August 17 at the Capital City Club at 7 p.m.