Less than 1 percent of breast cancer diagnoses are in men, but Gary McElroy will tell you that 1 percent is significant, because Thursday, he began his treatment for the disease.

On Dec. 7, the 63-year-old was watching 9NEWS when a story about former Nuggets guard Roland 'Fatty' Taylor came on.

It was a 37-second story about Taylor losing his battle to breast cancer.

That's all it took for McElroy to really listen.

Former Denver Rockets and Denver Nuggets standout guard,  Roland  “ Fatty ”  Taylor , died on Dec. 7.
Former Denver Rockets and Denver Nuggets standout guard, Roland “ Fatty ” Taylor , died on Dec. 7.

"And I thought well if it can happen to a professional athlete, I guess it could happen to anybody, but it won't be me," he said.

McElroy has done more than 50 triathalons, at least 20 marathons and an Ironman.

He thought checking for lumps in his breast felt "stupid and strange," but he did it anyway.

Exactly 3 weeks after the story on Taylor aired, McElroy was sitting at Lutheran Medical Center for his first day of chemotherapy.

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"When they said it was cancer, I was like wow, no, no story has ever impacted me like that did," McElroy said while hooked up to a machine pumping chemicals into his body.

He wants men to see this story and check for lumps just like he did.

"Just do it, it doesn't hurt anything," he said. "It may feel kinda funny you know, I didn't know if they were going to take my man card away or something cause you know breast cancer in a guy."

According to the Mayo Clinic, male breast cancer is generally diagnosed late because men don't think to check, but Gary's was caught in time.

"To me this is another race," he said. "The others I was just trying to finish. This race is to become a survivor."