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Male Breast Cancer

Medikoe Wellness Expert

Medikoe Wellness Expert

  80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru     Feb 14, 2017

   5 min     


Breast cancer isn’t only a woman’s disease. Men can also get breast cancer, although it’s rare. Male breast cancer is a rare cancer that forms in the breast tissue of men. Though breast cancer is most commonly thought of as a disease that affects women, breast cancer does occur in men. Although a very small amount, men too possess non-functioning breast tissues which are situated in the chest wall directly behind the nipple. They turn cancerous when the cells in the breast tissue grow uncontrollably and become abnormal in appearance and behavior. Male breast cancer symptoms are similar to those in women. 

Most male breast cancers are diagnosed when a man discovers a lump on his chest. A rare genetic condition called Klinefelter's syndrome can cause male breast cancer genetically. If you have a strong family history of cancer, Your doctor may recommend that you meet with a genetic counselor in order to consider genetic testing to see if you carry genes that increase your risk of cancer.  Most breast tissue in men is concentrated in the area directly behind the nipple and the surrounding pigmented area, called the areola. Most – though not all – breast cancers in men appear near the nipple as firm lumps. The disease is much less common in men because their breast ducts — where the cancer starts — are less well-developed than women’s. Men also have lower levels of estrogen, the hormone that fuels breast cancer growth. Your risk of breast cancer steadily increases as you get older. The breast cancer male age range is 60. 

Signs of male breast cancer can include-

  • A painless lump or thickening in your breast tissue

  • Changes to the skin covering your breast, such as dimpling, puckering, redness or scaling

  • Changes to your nipple, such as redness or scaling, or a nipple that begins to turn inward

  • Discharge from your nipple

Facts about male cancer-

  • A very rare case, say 1 in 1000 males

  • Risk of breast cancer is associated with elevated estrogen levels, exposure to radiation or family history of breast cancer.

  • Gene mutation

  • A lump beneath the nipple

  • It is categorized into stages based on the progress of the tumor

Breast cancer Male VS Female

Breast cancer risk is much lower in men than in women. Survival rates for men are about the same as for women with the same stage of breast cancer at the time of diagnosis. Male breast cancer is a rare disease accounting for 1% of all breast cancers. Male breast cancers display distinct immunophenotypic differences from those occurring in women, implying different pathogenesis in the evolution and progression of this disease. Such differences may play key roles in therapeutic management, warranting different treatment strategies in comparison to female breast cancers. The rate of male breast cancer is a small fraction of that observed in females, thus severely limiting our understanding of the pathogenesis of this condition. It remains unclear whether the biological behavior and tumor progression associated with male breast cancer parallels that of the female form.Hers’s an incidence of male breast cancer in India. It is a story of about a boy having breast cancer. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. It was my wife who spotted that my nipple was looking odd. She said, “Why’s your nipple turned in on itself?”It didn’t hurt. But my wife urged me to get an appointment with our GP as soon as possible. My GP quickly referred me for more investigations and I had a physical examination, scans, and a biopsy.

I think my positive mental attitude made it easier for the consultant to tell me that I had breast cancer was shocked. Like most men, I didn’t think it could affect men.My cancer was quite aggressive and the consultant estimated it had already been growing for six months so I had a mastectomy, I had the lymph nodes in my right armpit removed and I had chemotherapy and then radiotherapy.I knew that with the support of my wife and family, I would get through all the treatment and be stronger for it. My wife Teresa is a nurse and was able to care for me when I came out of hospital.After I’d finished radiotherapy, I started taking tamoxifen and I’ve been having mammograms every six months to check for any recurrence.

In 2016, I reached the milestone of five years clear of cancer and I feel well. Now I only need to have a mammogram every three years. I’m in a good place and I’m not worried about the future. I would advise any man to go straight to the GP if you feel something’s not natural for you or if you notice something new in your breast area.”

Many treatments for breast cancer in men are the same as those used for women. Some male breast cancer treatment includes:

  • Surgery: The aim of surgery is to remove cancerous tissue and to find out whether cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the armpit.
  • Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy is a common treatment for breast cancer in men. The aim of radiotherapy is to destroy any remaining cancer cells and reduce the chance of cancer coming back.
  • Drug therapies: There have been very few studies of drug treatments for breast cancer specifically in men. Therefore, drug therapy tends to be based on treatments known to work well in women. 

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Tags:  Wellness,Cancer,Digestive health ,General Health ,Men's Health,

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