Male Breast Cancer


Male Breast Cancer: Awareness, Symptoms, Treatment

Most people think of women when the subject of breast cancer comes up. However, males can be affected by it as well.  One of the biggest problems is that there is so much educational awareness for women to get checked and to do self-breast exams.  For men, such information is virtually not out there.  This can result in the breast cancer already being quite advanced by the time the diagnosis is made.

Before you leave, be sure and check the video below on self examinations …

Male Breast Cancer: Awareness, Symptoms, TreatmentMales need to be well aware of how to do a self-check and the symptoms to watch out for.  Such signs include:
• Changes to the color or appearance of the nipple
• Discharge from the nipple
• Lump or thickening around breast tissue
• Pain or tenderness around the breast

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Risk
Breast cancer is more likely to occur in older males. However, it can affect males at any age. Males over 60 and those who have a family history of breast cancer are also at a higher risk. Males that are overweight, have been exposed to radiation, or that have taken estrogen also have a high risk.

Nuclear workers, (men and women who work in and around ionizing radiation) are at a higher risk than the general populace.  It has been known that breast tissue is more sensitive to the effects of radiation than other bodily regions.  So much so that breast cancer (both men’s and women’s) has been named a *specified* cancer, designated so under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). **  

The most ‘at risk’ are those that were exposed before the age of twenty -but, it is not limited to those young workers.  It is worth noting that the exposure to (or dose of) radiation that increases the risk of breast cancer are not over or above the limits imposed by regulatory agencies.

There are an estimated 2,240 new cases of male breast cancer in the U.S. each year with upwards to 410 breast cancer deaths.    Because the cancer detection is usually not early, the cancer is more advanced. Because the breast tissue is much less than a woman, the cancer has less travelling to do to get to the nipple and the lymph nodes.

Hence, the emphasis on self-examinations for men.  See the video below for a tutorial on self-exams.

Treatment Options
The type of treatment for male breast cancer depends upon the stage and whether or not it has spread to other locations –and whether it makes its way to the glands or ducts. Once a full assessment has been done, then the treatment options that can be considered will be discussed with the patient.  As with other cancers, the sooner it is diagnosed, the more treatment options there are that can be considered.

Radiation therapy may be used to help kill the cancer cells as well as to reduce the size of them.  It can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy to assist with killing the cancer cells. Hormone therapy could be used to reduce the growth of the cancer cells. Because the cancer detection is usually not early, the cancer is more advanced. Because the breast tissue is much less than a woman, the cancer has less travelling to do to get to the nipple and the lymph nodes.

Surgery may be an option to successfully remove the tumor and the breast tissue around it. Sometimes, lymph nodes will also need to be removed. This is the procedure used when there is a high risk because the cancer has spread into those areas.

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More on:
Male Breast Cancer 
Male Breast Cancer Silence

**Source: Center for Environmental Health Studies

2 Responses to “Male Breast Cancer”

  1. T Pooler says:

    Thanks for the ‘heads up.’ It is something that I haven’t heard about.
    I’m young but my dad needs to know.

    Tim

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