Midland Health: Male Breast Cancer is Unique But Not Impossible
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but breast cancer is not just a female thing, men can get breast cancer too.
According to the Midland Reporter-Telegram, breast cancer in men is about 100 times less common than it is for women, but there are about 2,500 cases of male breast cancer diagnosed every year.
So for men, checking yourself is not a bad idea. The most common first sign in men is a lump or mass behind the nipple.
Other signs are a change in your nipple, like the nipple turning inward or leakage coming out of the nipple, and changes in the skin covering the pectoral area such as dimpling, puckering, redness, or scaling.
If the women in your family have a history of breast cancer that puts men at a higher risk than average because you could have inherited a gene mutation called BRCA2.
If you have the BRCA2 gene mutation, a man's chance of developing breast cancer is 6 in 100. Other factors that increase your risk is liver disease like cirrhosis, and obesity both of which increase the level of estrogen, and men who have had radiation to their chest wall to treat lymphoma.
It is very important for men to get to their doctor if they notice anything weird going on with their nipples. The protocol is exactly the same as it is for women in diagnosing and treating breast cancer in men, the doctor will order a mammogram and ultrasound of the pectoral area and then a clinical exam.
Men would more commonly dismiss anything weird going on with their nipples or pectoral area because breast cancer is a "woman's disease," but it could happen to you. If you feel a lump or notice anything weird with your nipples or pectoral area, get it checked out immediately.
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