Yes, you read it right. Men can get breast cancer too.
Your unawareness is fully justified as the cases of men getting breast cancer are quite rare. Mostly breast cancer is associated with women as its occurrence is 100 times more in females than males.
However, it does not mean that this serious health condition should be ignored in men. It is the result of such denial, ignorance and the fear of being ridiculed that many cases of male breast cancer do not often reach the stage of diagnosis and turn ugly due to delayed treatment.
While breast cancer treatment is one of the most important steps in assuring the eradication of this disease, its awareness among the masses is also no less than a chance to survive this situation. Since men would not be aware of this condition, they tend to ignore its symptoms and often hesitate in consulting a doctor about it.
According to Dr. Meenu Walia, Max Healthcare, mostly, men who have breast cancer are diagnosed at a later stage only when their lumps become large and difficult to treat. Not many people understand,but early detection and prompt treatment play a vital role in giving the patient a cancer-free life.
Thus, it is always better to know about the disease so that one can prevent it. Awareness is beneficial as it accelerates the diagnosis process and the breast cancer treatment as well.
Here is everything you need to know about male breast cancer:
Symptoms To Look For
Below are some of the common breast cancer symptoms men should not ignore:
- Lump or thickening in breasts
- Discharge from the nipples
- Inverted nipple
- Redness or scaling on the nipple
Upon the appearance of such symptoms, men should seek medical consultation to avoid any further complication.
What Are the Risk Factors?
Let us now learn about the factors that increase the risk of breast cancer among men.
- Family History: A family history which dealt with breast cancer may increase the chances of its occurrence.
- Age: The risk of breast cancer in men increases with age. Men between the age of 67 and 71 are more likely to develop this type of cancer.
- Exposure to Radiation: If a man has been treated with radiation, he has an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
- Obesity: This is a common risk factor both for men and women. The excessive fat cells in men lead to the conversion of male hormones into female hormones. The increased concentration of female hormones then can increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Liver Disease: Men suffering from liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis, have are latively low level of male hormones and an increased amount of estrogen in the body. Thus, the increased risk of breast cancer.
- Klinefelter’s Syndrome: This is a chromosomal condition in which a male is born with an extra X chromosome. It leads to the excess production of female hormones that can increase the risk of breast cancer. This has various effects on the body such as reduced facial hair, low testosterone and enlarged male breasts.
- Testicle Disease: The chances of breast cancer in men also increase if they have inflamed testicles or have gone through surgery to remove a testicle.
What Happens During the Diagnosis?
Once the symptoms of breast cancer are identified, the doctor will first analyze the personal and family medical history. This will be followed by a thorough physical exam. Some other diagnostic tests that are performed include:
- Diagnostic Mammography(may not always be possible in men due to less breast tissue)
- Breast Ultrasound
- MRI of The Breast
- Nipple Discharge Exam
After a complete diagnosis, the doctors will determine the stage of cancer and then chart out a treatment plan for a successful result.
What Are the Treatment Options Available?
As per the breast cancer’s stage, the doctor will choose the following treatment options:
- Surgery:The tumor and the surrounding breast tissues are removed through surgery.
- Radiation Therapy: Doctors use high beam radiation to kill the cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: During this treatment, specific drugs are used to kill cancer cells not just in the breast but other areas as well. This is used in an advanced stage.
- Hormone Therapy: This therapy is mostly used when the breast cancer is hormone-sensitive.
While looking for breast cancer treatment, it is vital to choose a trusted hospital for better care. For instance, hospitals like Max Healthcare are known for their breast cancer treatment in India as they have a highly qualified team of doctors who are backed by state-of-the-art facilities.
While female breast cancer is often talked about, little is known about male breast cancer. However, the time has come that one should stop being ignorant about breast cancer in males and start learning more.