Breast Cancer Rates In Men Rising

Kristie A. Raburn By Kristie A. Raburn, 8th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Men's Health

Breast cancer knows no gender. Men are not exempt from breast cancer. However, as it is not a topic generally discussed, men are diagnosed at a later stage of cancer and require more extensive treatment. Male breast cancer is most commonly diagnosed in men between the ages of 55 and 70 years old. Knowing their family health history can be a good indicator of when men should have a breast exam.

History and Evaluation of Risk for Men

It is cautiously recommended that men with a history of family cancer, who are 55 and older, be screened for breast cancer as 17 % of breast cancer cases found in men are inherited. The American Cancer Society speculated 450 men would die of invasive breast cancer in 2008, with approximately 1,600 new cases of male breast cancer each year.

The number of male breast cancer cases has remained generally stable over the past few years but is showing a slight increase as the obesity rate rises. For men who are or may be at high risk, a mammogram, along with a careful physical exam of the chest, arm pit and pectoral areas, might be useful for screening men with a strong family history of breast cancer and/or with BRCA mutations, found by genetic testing.

Exam Techniques for Men

Both men and women are examined using the same exam techniques and machines. Before your exam, stay away from alcohol or salt and make sure you are fully hydrated with plenty of water. Stay away from caffeine and coffee just before your exam as they can make your breast sensitive and tender to the touch. Many clinics ask that you shower but do not use under arm deodorant before your exam.

Why Men Ignore Breast Cancer

Many men ignore breast lumps or think they are caused by an infection or some other reason, and they do not get medical treatment until the mass has had a chance to grow, often spreading into the tissue under the arm. Though lumps can easily be removed during a biopsy, allowing a quick analysis of the removed tissue, men are often embarrassed about finding a breast lump and worry that someone might question their masculinity. This belief tends to delay diagnosis and reduces a man's odds for successful treatment.

Don’t Ignore These Symptoms

Breast cancer in men is often diagnosed after a lump or thickening of the breast tissue is discovered. Other male breast cancer symptoms are skin dimpling or skin puckering, a new indentation, and inversion of the skin or prolong itching of the nipple. Other changes in the appearance of the nipple or chest skin, such as redness, discharge or scaling may also be an indication.

Other inherited genes may also increase your risk; therefore knowing your family history is very important is fighting breast cancer for everyone. Radiation exposure, such as receiving chest radiation therapy in childhood, or x-rays for broken ribs and other injuries, and PCP exposure, may be other factors to consider when determining your unique risk to breast cancer.

No matter what the reason, or your gender, any changes in nipple appearance, the tissue surrounding the breast or under the arm, should be brought to the attention of your doctor.

Article Resources

A Story of Male Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Kills Men Too
Symptoms of Male Breast Cancer


Breast Cancer, Cancer, Health, Mammograms, Men

Meet the author

author avatar Kristie A. Raburn
Poet, short story and technical writer who is also a collector of wonderful cookbooks. Currently working on book ideas with poetry and cryptographs in mind.

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