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Breast Cancer in Men

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Did you know that men can get breast cancer too? Every year in the U.S., an estimated 1,900 men will get breast cancer. In the UK, this figure is around 300 men a year. Yet many men have not even heard of male breast cancer and because men only make up 1% of the total cases of this type of cancer, there is not much information available to them.

This is understandable given the number of women who develop the disease, but not very helpful or supportive for the man who finds himself diagnosed with it.

Risk Factors for Men

Men who are at increased risk of getting breast cancer include:

Those with a family history of breast cancer.
Obesity – Being overweight increases the levels of estrogen in the body and this can cause breast cancer.
Those who work with radiation or who have had another type of cancer and had radiotherapy for that. Sustained exposure to radiation can cause breast cancer.
Genetic problems – Doctors think that some cancer is caused by a ‘faulty’ gene.
Advanced age – Most cases of male breast cancer occur in men over the age of 60.

How will he know if he has breast cancer?

Symptoms include:
Lumps under the arm or around the nipple
Swelling in the chest area
Sores around the nipple or chest area
Bleeding or discharge from the nipples.

Not everyone gets every symptom and some men may get just one or two.
Cancer is diagnosed either by an X-ray called a mammogram or an ultrasound scan. Ultrasound is a better option because it uses no radiation. If any tumor is detected, a biopsy will be offered to confirm the diagnosis. This is where a small portion of tissue is removed to see if it is cancerous.

Treatments vary according to the diagnosis but are usually radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone treatment and surgery.
Men can have mastectomies too, although there is only a small amount of breast tissue on a man so it is usually removed in its entirety. If the cancer is believed to be hormone-based, they may be offered Tamoxifen, the same drug used for women.

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EmpowHER Guest

My Proposal for Prevention Of Breast Cancer :

1. Routine check-up, mammogram.

2. Breast-feeding. It is also beneficial for affection toward children and EMOTIONAL STABILITY, immunity of them, let alone woman health.

3. Exercise to convert overnutrition to active energy. The diet remaining long in the body tends to be sources for germs, bacterias, viruses, and influenza etc to multiply.

October 10, 2009 - 8:10am
HERWriter Guide

Hi Joanna - Indeed, men do unfortunately get breast cancer too. I admire the courage and dedication of the men who participate in local runs and walks to support breast cancer research because they are themselves survivors and are open about discussing what they're experienced.
Thank you for sharing this important information.
Take good care, Pat

October 9, 2009 - 5:35pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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