A group of Marines discover they have breast cancer—a diagnosis that is rare in men, and even more startling given they all had previously lived in the same area, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina:

It all started with Mike Partain, a.k.a. Number One. A barrel-chested father of four with a goatee and a predilection for aviator sunglasses, Partain was born at Camp Lejeune, the North Carolina base where his father, a first lieutenant in the US Marine Corps, was stationed in the late 1960s. Now he lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where he makes his living as an insurance claims adjuster.

Five years ago Partain’s wife noticed a grape-size bump next to his right nipple. ‘I thought it was from an ingrown hair or something. I blew it off,’ he recalls. But a couple of weeks later he decided to get it checked out. When his doctor ordered a mammogram, he remembers, ‘a chill went down my spine.’ Then came a sonogram: Partain watched in amazement as an image emerged on the screen looking like one of the globular star clusters he knew as an astronomy hobbyist. ‘I never even knew men could get breast cancer!’ he says.

“The Marines’ Breast Cancer Epidemic.” — Florence Williams, Mother Jones

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