You might think that breast cancer only occurs in women, but it can also occur also in men, since, perhaps surprisingly, normal men do also possess a small amount of breast tissue. Today let’s look at five facts concerning male breast cancer.
1) How common is it?
Breast cancer in men is very rare. About 1% of all cases of breast cancer occur in men. The reason is that men have only a very small amount of developed breast tissue compared with women, and normally the levels of estrogen in a man’s system is so low.
2) What can predispose a man to breast cancer?
Older age—usually men in their 60s and 70s;
Strong family history of breast cancer in close female relatives;
Abnormally high levels of estrogen; typically due to obesity, heavy alcohol intake, gene mutations, or chronic liver disease;
History of radiation therapy to the chest area (for previous cancer);
Heavy occupational exposure to certain chemicals or intense heat.
3) How does a man know he might have a breast cancer?
Men’s symptoms of breast cancer are basically the same as a woman’s: a painless lump is felt in the breast/chest area. Other symptoms include change in the nipple such as a pulling in, drainage or bleeding, or some other change in the outward appearance of the breast or nipple.
4) Is it true that men if a man develops breast cancer, the outlook is worse than for a women?
Men are not accustomed to think of the possibility of breast cancer in themselves (as are women), so they tend to ignore symptoms and only come to the doctor later, when the tumor is more advanced. Further, some men might be embarrassed about the idea of a breast tumor, and delay seeing a doctor for that reason.
5) What is the treatment for male breast cancer?
Men can be cured just like most women can be cured, and the key is to see a doctor when the tumor is small, before it has spread to any other areas such as the lymph nodes. Once a man gets a diagnosis of breast cancer (typically by needle biopsy), the treatment is basically the same as for a woman—any combination of surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and/or radiation.
In conclusion, although the chance of getting breast cancer is small in men, they should see a doctor without delay if they note any of the symptoms.
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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)