Saluting Peter Devereaux, Male Breast Cancer Advocate (1962-2014)

August 23, 2014




Pete Devereaux died last week at age 52. Pete was a Marine, a champion athlete and a patient advocate who brought greater awareness not only to male breast cancer in general but to his 82 fellow Marines who were stationed at Camp Lejeune and later diagnosed with male breast cancer due to a contaminated water supply. ( This is the largest reported cluster of male breast cancer.)

I met Pete last year when served as a  patient introducer for the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network’s (MBCN’s) annual conference. (You can watch Pete’s video here.)

Pete was  initially diagnosed with stage 3b male breast cancer on January 11th, 2008. After noticing a lump, Pete called his doctor and had a mammogram, ultrasound and core biopsy. “A few days later the doctor called me up and said I had male breast cancer,” Pete recalled. “I asked him if he was calling the right patient. I was in complete shock.”

Pete had a mastectomy and 22 cancerous lymph nodes removed, followed by 14 months of treatment (29 chemotherapy and 30 radiation appointments). Just three days before his last appointment in April 2009, Pete started experiencing shooting pain up and down his spine. “At my last scheduled appointment I had scans that revealed my cancer had traveled to my spine, ribs and hip,” Pete said. “I have metastatic breast cancer.”

Pete was one of three men with metastatic breast cancer who attended MBCN’s 2013 conference. When I think of Pete, I hear his distinctive Bostonian accent and I see his smile and his big bald head. I loved Pete’s sense of humor–we hit it off right away when we met in Houston.

Someone else in Pete’s shoes might have been bitter–that was not Pete’s way. He was a doer–not a  complainer. He is featured in “Semper Fi” a documentary about the contamination at Camp LeJeune and did countless television and print interviews to share the story of Marines with male breast cancer.

If  the American Cancer Society  or Komen or other group were having a fundraiser, Pete was there. Pete was part of the group that successfully lobbied to establish Oct. 13 as National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. When MBCN teamed with Dana Farber to put on a metastatic breast cancer seminar, Pete was part of the organizing committee. He was a proud graduate of Project Lead, a 5-day course on the science of breast cancer in San Diego, put on by the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

“I continue to attend as many events as I can and am always open to speaking about male and metastatic breast cancer,” Pete said. Indeed, as reported here, Pete was the featured speaker at the June 2014 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Boston. He was in a wheelchair, but he was there, and sounded like the same old Pete.

Pete often paid tribute to his wife of 18 years, Fiona Maguire.

“I always knew that my wife was a cool, pretty chick. But this cute little Irish girl is a bad-ass,” Pete told a Salem, NH reporter. “Little do you know at the beginning how much (you’ll go through). Our love went to a whole new level.”

Our sincere condolences to Fiona and all of Pete’s family and many friends.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Michael’s Church, 196 Main Street, North Andover, MA. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Salem, MA.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Peter C. Devereaux Fund, TD Bank North, 451 Andover Street, North Andover, MA 01845.


Metastatic Breast Cancer Events 2014: Mark Your Calendar

August 8, 2014

Hi everyone. We hope you are enjoying your summer. We wanted to share a quick overview of upcoming metastatic breast cancer events in Chapel Hill, NC; Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago.  I will be at three (!) of these events and look forward to meeting some of you there. Is there a metastatic meeting in your city we should know about? Please comment below.

–Katherine O’Brien

Secretary, MBCN


NC_StateIconThe Metastatic Breast Cancer Network’s (MBCN’s) 2014 Annual Conference In Conjunction with UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

WHO: People living with metastatic breast cancer and their spouses, partners, friends and caregivers

WHEN: September 19-21, 2014

WHERE: UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapel Hill, NC

                                                    MORE INFORMATION:

NOTES:  MBCN’s signature annual event starts with a Friday night reception and goes on to include a full day of  Saturday sessions and a half day on Sunday. There are at total of five main sessions across the two days; attendees can choose among more than 20 breakout sessions on everything from the latest news on their specific subtype to insurance issues, talking to younger kids about MBC and special issues in the African American community and more. (See the  details here.) We expect attendees from across the US as well as Canada. Make your hotel reservations soon; our block of rooms “hold” ends on Sept. 1.


phillyLBBC’s  (Living Beyond Breast Cancer) ANNUAL FALL CONFERENCE

WHO: People living with breast cancer

WHEN: September 27, 2014

WHERE:Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia


NOTES: The Metastatic Track includes two  presentations from Dr. Clifton Hudis (“Metasatic Breast Cancer: Treatment Stategies” and “Metastatic Breast Cancer: Clinical Trials” as well as Dr. Pamela Ginsberg on “Living Fully, Managing Uncertainty.”



WHEN: October 11, 2014

WHERE: Olympic Collection Banquet Hall / 11301 Olympic Blvd / West Los Angeles, CA 90064


RSVP: Contacting Gwen Barker at 310-575-3011 or

NOTES: This event focuses on those living with metastatic breast cancer and will provide information and resources about treatment options, emotional wellbeing, nutrition, and more. Prominent experts including Dr. Patricia Ganz of UCLA, Dr. James Waisman of City of Hope, Dr. Rena Callahan of UCLA, and Dr. Yara Salman of USC will discuss metastatic breast cancer. The Los Angeles County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen is producing this event with the support of Anthem Blue Cross.



WHEN: Saturday,  October 18, 2014  ( morning). More details coming soon!

WHERE: Boston

NOTES: Sponsored by Dana Farber Cancer Institute, MBCN and Susan G. Komen



WHEN: Sunday, October 19, 2014 (9:00 a.m to 12:30 p.m.)

WHERE: Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center, 303 E. Superior St., Chicago  Baldwin Auditorium – See:

MORE INFORMATION: Register online or call 312.695.1390. Walk-ins welcome.

NOTES: This program, held specifically for Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) patients, or Stage IV patients, and their families, is hosted in partnership with the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. Learn about key developments in the field of metastatic treatment, meet others living with MBC and network with local advocacy organizations. This free program includes a light breakfast and discounted parking. Come and hear Virginia Kaklamani, MD, DSc; William Gradishar, MD and MBCN’s own Shirley Mertz. The annual Lynn Sage Town Hall meeting follows.