Can Men Get Breast Cancer?

by Editorial Team
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It’s our human tendency to associate certain things to a particular gender. The same goes for some diseases and medical conditions also. Breast Cancer is one such disease, and we have already made an association with the female gender. However, the development of male cancer could be rare. Out of total breast cancer cases, less than 1% of the men develop breast cancer. But still, the question remains; can men get breast cancer?

How is it that men can get breast cancer?

We never really bothered much about how men get breast cancer. Well, men and women have similar breast tissues. The only difference is that men’s breast tissues are usually flat and small. Breast cancer is common with old aged men, but this doesn’t mean young males cannot get it. The reasons or the causes for breast cancer to occur is still uncertain. The only sign which makes doctors completely sure is the dividing of tissues is unusual. Hence, the question ‘can men get breast cancer’ is pretty clear now.

What are some breast cancer symptoms in men

For both men and women, breast cancer symptoms are the same. It begins with forming lumps in the breast. Hence, when you observe them, then it is better to go for proper analysis.

Some of the common symptoms of breast cancer in males are:

  • A lump in the chest area: It is the common symptom of male breast cancer, which is often painless.
  • A nipple pushes inward: Sometimes, males can experience bleeding from the nipples; it shows that you might have breast cancer.
  • Scaling: An enlargement of pores or changes in the skin of the breast describes that you might be having breast cancer.
  • Redness: The skin of the breast or nipple becomes red or swollen if males have breast cancer.
  • Changes to the skin covering the breast: Any unexplained change in the shape or size of the breast, such as swelling or dimpling anywhere on the breast, is one of the symptoms of breast cancer.
  • Swollen lymph nodes under arm: The asymmetry of the breasts shows that you have breast cancer. If the onset of asymmetry is recent, then it can be treated quickly.

What are the different causes of breast cancer in males

Though, there are no well-defined causes of breast cancer in males. Some of the causes include-

  • Weight gain: It is one of the prominent causes of breast cancer in men. As weight increases, the fat tissues present in the body start releasing more female hormones, mainly estrogen. The release of estrogen stimulates the growth of breast cancer.
  • Liver disease: Cirrhosis and other such disorders, which can damage the liver, increase the amount of estrogen in your body. Many liver diseases can reduce the number of male hormones and thus cause breast cancer.
  • High radiation exposure: Ionizing radiation is directly linked to breast cancer. If you expose your chest to radiations pretty often then, there is a high chance that you might get breast cancer.
  • Genes: If your brother, father, or any close relative has been diagnosed with breast cancer, then you are at high risk to suffer from breast cancer. Generally, men who possess BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations have breast cancer.
  • Klinefelter syndrome: Generally, men have one X and one Y chromosome. Men having two copies of the X chromosome and one Y chromosome suffer from Klinefelter syndrome. Men with this condition make less testosterone and more estrogen, and thus they are at high risk of breast cancer.

Prevention, early detection, and treatment of breast cancer

  • Prevention: We all know that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, by taking some precautions, you can reduce the chances of having breast cancer. Making healthy choices with respect to your food and lifestyle can always be the best measure to prevent any disease. However, remember, there is no foolproof way to prevent cancer. So, the best you can do is maintain ideal body weight, early detection, and thereby ensuring prompt treatment.
  • Early detection: Men have higher mortality than women when it comes to breast cancer. This is due to the simple reason of unawareness. Hence, keeping a check on your body for symptoms of breast cancer is necessary. Detecting it early can give you a person a better chance of treating it.
  • Treatment: There are several treatments that are used for women and men also, like physical examination, biopsies wherein small samples of tissues are observed. Other than these basic ones, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy has also been quite beneficial to treat breast cancer in men. The major difference between women and men’s breast cancer is that more than 85% of male breast cancer cases respond much better to hormone therapy.

Life after breast cancer treatment

If you successfully overcome breast cancer, you should continue to take care of yourself by scheduling regular visits to your doctor and maintain a healthy weight. Being physically active and consuming a balanced diet will also help in improving lifestyle. And hopefully, after a few years, your Life would be normal just like it was before getting cancer.

In a scenario where you are still battling with cancer, it is important that you accept living with cancer. Continue with regular treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, medicines, and much more. Other than medical assistance, one should adopt a healthy lifestyle. Just like it is extremely important for one to take care of their body, it is equally essential to take care of one’s emotions too. This type of situation can be a bit stressful, but with regular treatment, Life would be almost normal. Breast cancer can be treated more effectively if detected at an early stage; therefore, keep a regular check on your body. Also, seek medical assistance in case of any doubt and save yourself and your family from unnecessary troubles.

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