Odd but true: Breast cancer affects men too

It is no news that breast cancer is a major health issue for women. Definitely, when the subject of breast cancer comes up, most men’s minds literally shuts down. Why? It is a female disease. However, this is not the case in reality. Breast cancer affects men too. Why not? They also have breast tissue. However, a man’s breast tissue does not grow and develop fully unlike that of a girl. The breast of a full grown man looks like that of a girl just prior to puberty. The truth is that men are prone to having the types of breast cancers that women do have.

Men ought to take the subject of breast cancer seriously. The key to surviving as with all other cancers is early detection. However, this has been a near impossible situation with men having breast cancer. The disease is often diagnosed in men later than in women. The reason for this is not far-fetched. Men’s breast tissues are small and thus it is harder to feel. This makes early detection difficult and so tumours can easily and more quickly spread to other tissues around.

Risk factors

  • Breast enlargement as a result of drug or hormone treatments
  • Klinefelter’s syndrome
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Injury to the testicles or inflammation of the testes
  • Exposure of the chest to radiation

Note that the risk of a man having breast cancer increases with age. Rarely do men who are less than 35 years have breast cancer. It generally affects men who are between 60-70 years of age. Also, having a close female relative come down with breast cancer is also a sign that the men could have same too.

Symptoms

These are similar to those found in women. They include:

  • Appearance of a lump
  • Stiffening of the breast tissue.
  • Discharge from the nipples
  • Nipple redness
  • Nipple retraction or inversion
  • swelling, skin irritation, itchiness, or rash on the breast.

The appearance of a lump on the chest is usually the first symptom. When this is observed, the doctor must be the next point of call.

Treatment

The diagnosis and treatment are basically the same for both sexes. The techniques used for diagnosis are physical examination of the breast, biopsy and mammography.

In order to treat breast cancer in men, similar techniques used for women are employed including:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Hormone therapy (works best in most men than in women)
  • Biological therapy

Knowledge is power. Men must also examine their “breasts” as well as women. It is important to know that breast cancer affects men too. That might sound funny if you are a man but then that’s just the way it is. You will have to excuse me because I want to examine my “breasts” right now.

 

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