Spotlight On Male Breast Cancer

Male Breast Cancer

With the news of Beyonce’s father’s struggle, there’s more of a spotlight on male breast cancer now. Attention is now directed at the often misconceived notion that only women get this dreaded disease. It is true that there’s fewer cases about 1 in every 100.  In some cases it can be fatal because diagnosing it is often left too late. This misconception that only women get breast cancer has long been shown to be false. It is rare but it is real. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Even with calls for periodical mammograms and other preventive measures, it remains the leading cancer death among women. Early detection is usually the key to defeating this enemy. Prognosis for both male and female breast cancer depends on tumor stage. The highest instance of which is Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma or IDC. The cells in or around the ducts invaded surrounding tissue. Paget disease, on the other hand, is inflammatory breast cancer of the nipple. Initial treatment could include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy. 

Risk factors include:

  • Family history (male and female relatives) with breast cancer
  • Klinefelter’s syndrome (a genetic disorder) and cirrhosis or other liver diseases 
  • Old age
  • Obesity  or weight gain
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Testosterone disease or testicular problem
  • Exposure to radiation or estrogen

There is a 5-year survival rate of 84% for this disease.  Gynecomastia or enlarged male breast tissue may faintly increase cancer risk if the other factors are present. The most common symptoms include swelling or lump on the breast. A tenderness on or behind the nipples should not be dismissed. Get it checked. Most symptoms mirror that of the female’s. Most hospitals can provide presentation templates of the similarities and differences of male and female breast cancer. 

Often in these cases, the men are in denial of or are clueless to men being stricken with this disease. They neglect and shrug off pain and symptoms that would have otherwise been easier to treat. Which is why it is good that this breast cancer month, there’s a spotlight on male breast cancer. To give more focus to and enlighten everyone that men can also fall victim to this type of cancer.