How many males in your life do you know that have had breast cancer
? Probably not as many as women that you’ve known with the disease! There are two common misconceptions about male breast cancer. The first and most prevalent one is that males get it very seldom, and the second is that when males do get it, they have a much poorer outlook.
While it is true that women are 100 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than men, the fact is that men are still susceptible to developing breast cancer as frequently as jaw, mouth or other cancers. There are fewer cases of male breast cancer than female breast cancer because men are less likely to detect any changes in their breast tissue. Even if they did detect something out of the ordinary, they are much less likely to see a doctor for it. This could be because they might not see it as urgent; they could be in denial that something might be wrong; or because they might think that seeing a doctor for a breast examination
might seem too “feminine” and embarrassing.
This reluctance to see a doctor is probably why men are thought to have a poorer outlook upon initial breast cancer diagnosis. By the time a man realizes he is indeed experiencing something abnormal and visits a doctor, it could already be too late.
The risk factors for breast cancer in men are virtually the same as women. If your family has a history of breast cancer, if you suffer from liver disease, if you have had benign tumors in your breasts, if you have a genetic disease called Klinefelter's syndrome (which increases your chance of developing breast cancer by up to 50 percent), or even if you've never been married . . . these are all risk factors.
It is very important that the symptoms of breast cancer are not confused with gynecomastia, which is a much more common occurrence among men. Gynecomastia is the development of large mammary glands, which results in men developing enlarged breasts. Some common symptoms for breast cancer, on the other hand, include lumps and extra mass under the nipple, fluid discharge from the nipple, ulceration, tenderness around the area, skin makeup changes, lumps under the arm, or lumps around the clavicle.
The approach to breast cancer in both men and women is the same; you need to diagnose it with a biopsy, and treatments like chemotherapy and surgery
could help stop growth before it's too late. If you are unsure of a lump in your breast, or you have gynecomastia and want to rule out breast cancer, it is important that you seek medical help as soon as possible. A simple exam and a routine checkup is all it takes to put your worries to rest and keep you at ease.