Breast cancer in men is a rare disease. For comparison purpose – breast cancer annually affects about 60 men while, for the same period it affects around 6,500 women. Most men are detected with breast cancer at the age of 60 years. For young men, the incidence of this type of cancer is unusual.
Men are usually surprised that this disease can affect even them. As such, when symptoms of this disorder occur they often do not pay attention. This mostly results in detection of the disease when it has further advanced.
As I said, the numbers of men with breast cancer are very low, but despite this it is necessary for men to think about this disease and if a problem is identified it is essential to eliminate it. Symptoms of breast cancer in men are the same as in case of women – palpable lump in the breast, sometimes bloody secretions from the nipple, skin cancer, inverted nipples or palpable axillary nodes. The flag may be only one symptom or may be combination of some. These warning signs should neither be underestimated nor ignored. Men should visit a qualified doctor immediately and make an appointment for mammography and breast ultrasound examination. Men generally have an advantage that the size of their breasts is usually small or none and, therefore, eventual lump in them can easily palpable.
All palpation findings in men do not indicate breast cancer. The most frequent finding in men is called Gynecomastia, which is the presence of a mammary gland in the male breast. Gynecomastia causes are various, mostly hormonal, or due to certain drugs.
Men often think that a mammogram cannot be conducted for their breasts. Mammography cannot be conducted easily on slender young man, and a grown man. Ultrasound can seamlessly examine all men “dimensions”.
In case the mammogram or breast ultrasound hints at breast cancer then, a biopsy is performed. Then collected samples are then sent for histological examination. If breast cancer is confirmed, then the men undergo exactly the same treatment as women. Breast cancer in men is treated through – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, possibly biological or hormonal therapy.
The causes of breast cancer in men are similar to those that are found in women, their influence genetics, nutrition, effects of external and internal environment and many other factors, such as alcoholism and obesity. These latter conditions may affect the male body in its production of estrogen, which are hormones which have an effect on breast cancer. Women are exposed to natural estrogen almost from puberty to menopause. This is just one of the causes of the high incidence of breast cancer in women compared to men.
If the family has a history of breast cancer then, men and women of the said family should pay attention and attend to preventive breast examination, it is quite likely that the cause of breast cancer in their family is genetically conditioned.
Men, who have undergone treatment for breast cancer, are quite normal men, who despite the disease live a normal life and pursue their hobbies. Just as in case of women, men should immediately come in for a physical examination and consultation, if there is a suspected lump in their breast. This can save their precious lives.
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