Men With Breast Cancer – Is It Possible?
Underdeveloped as they may be, men too have breast tissues. This means men are prone to developing breast cancer too, just like females, even though their risk is about a hundred times lesser than females. About 1% of breast cancer cases are those of male breast cancer.
When a man has risk factors for male breast cancer, the breast tissues may start developing cancer cells, and he may get breast cancer. There is no age requisite for male breast cancer to occur, however, men between 60 years to 70 years of age are most vulnerable. Exposure to radiation is a common male breast cancer risk factor. Also, the risk goes high if there is a family history of breast cancer. Men with Klinefelter’s disease and cirrhosis have high risks too. Klinefelter’s is when a man abnormally has two X chromosomes instead of one. Cirrhosis comes with high levels of estrogen, which is a big male breast cancer risk factor. Also, men with weight and alcohol problems are more prone to developing breast cancer.
About 30% cases of male breast cancer are due to heredity, compared to just 5% to 10% in females. Breast cancer genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase the risk of men developing breast cancer, if the genes show defects or mutation. Genetic mutation is usually not inherited, and is acquired during the course of your life. Radiation therapies or operations may be one cause for these mutations.
Just as in females, the presence of a lump is a symptom for male breast cancer. It is often painless, and may be occur along with increasing thickness of breasts. The breast skin may appear pitted and show the peau d’orange syndrome. Changes in the nipple, fluid discharge from nipples, inverted nipples, redness around the nipples, and change in the breast skin texture are all symptoms of male breast cancer.
You should instantly get an enlarged breast or other abnormalities examined. For diagnosis, clinical breast examination, biopsies, mammograms, breast ultrasounds, even nipple discharge examination can be adopted. Mammograms are said to work better in men than in women because females have a dense breast tissue which makes the process difficult. If the biopsy reveals cancer cell presence, getting the breast tissue tested for presence of estrogen and progesterone is a good idea, since these female hormones can stimulate cancer growth, as is the case with 80% to 90% male breast cancer cases, and can be stopped at source.
If the diagnosed breast cancer has not spread outside the original site, that is, if it is in situ, a mastectomy gives great results. If the cancer is invasive, which means it has metastasized outside the site where the cancer started developing, doctors test it to see how much it has advanced. There are four stages, Stage I being the most curable and more reactive to treatment, and Stage IV meaning the cancer has metastasized beyond the stage where a certain cure is possible. This grading helps doctors determine what kind of treatment is needed for you.
For men with Stage IV of invasive breast cancer, chemotherapy, hormonal treatment and radiation therapy become imperative, since metastasis makes cure so hard. Likewise, treating male breast cancer is not very different from treating females with the disease, for any stage of breast cancer
Leading a healthy life during treatment is quintessential. Abstinence from alcohol and curing weight problems go a long way in both prevention and cure of breast cancer. You will always have family and friends for all the help and support you need, and you should never stop yourself from availing that help. Rest assured, you will lead a perfectly happy life thereafter.