Tickle fight leads to man's deadly diagnosis

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A harmless tickle fight involving Anthoney Merka and his wife and daughter turned into a life-changing medical encounter.

While Merka's wife was tickling him, she thought she felt something. Six months later, his doctor's appointment led to a terrifying diagnosis -- breast cancer.

"Breast cancer ... I didn't think guys could get breast cancer," Merka told Fox 25.

The man, who lost his grandmother to the disease a while ago, is telling everyone he can about the story to encourage even men to routinely check for lumps.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 2,600 new cases of male breast cancer occur in the United States every year.

"There was no information when we started looking," Lisa Merka, Anthony's wife, told Fox 25. "When the doctor said it could be, we started to find research. Couldn't find anything."

Merka's four children have a 50-50 chance of inheriting the disease from him.

They were all tested, and results from his daughter Angela's test came back positive.

"I almost didn't want to believe it," Angela Kolander told Fox 25. "But at the same time it was, 'OK, now we know. Now I can be proactive.'"

She monitors her health by seeing a doctor every six months.

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