Talking about breast cancer, we often assume a woman is suffering from it. But men, too, are susceptible to getting breast cancer.
Did you know: Out of every 1000 breast cancer cases, at least 1 would surely be a man suffering from it.
So yes, breast cancer does not discriminate between genders. It is a rare occurrence but not an uncommon one!
If it sounds astounding to you, then let us know more about this cancer which can strike you in your unawareness.
Following a few guidelines can help you prevent adversities. So let us fill you up with all that you have to know about Men’s Breast Cancer.
How can Breast Cancer occur in males?
Likewise, for both males and females, the amount of breast tissue in puberty is the same. With growing age and the elevating hormones, females develop the tissues of the breast, the lobules, and the ducts in it. However, for males, this development has stagnated. So, there is not much growth.
Breast cancer begins its journey from the breast ducts in most instances or in the glands. Men, although underdeveloped, have these ducts and glands where breast cancer may surface.
So male or female, breasts or no breasts! You can actually have breast cancer depending upon various criteria. If you want to know what can actually cause you to face something so serious, then follow us through..
Breast Cancer causes –
As rare as the occurrence, less is known about the cause. Breast cancer in men is not a profound disease, even though it is fatal. Since its numbers are low, many studies have not been done on it as yet. Even so, let us see few of the characteristics leading to its etiological factors;
- Gene mutation- Abnormal or mutated genes are at times inherited as a part of the family history.
If you suspect yourself to be a victim of a positive family history of breast cancer, visit your doctor soon to lessen your chances of getting inflicted by the disease. Genetic factors may be a complex issue, but the best medical oncologist in Gurgaon will help you or recommend you to a genetic counsellor to guard your chances of breast cancer.
- Hormonal levels- The imbalance of the hormone in men’s bodies can be a significant factor for breast cancer.
Signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer in Males-
- A painless lump formed in the breast area
- Thickening of breast tissue
- Changes to the breast skin- puckering, scaling, or reddening ● Changes to the nipple, nipple retraction ● Nipple discharge.
Note: It is easier to detect a man’s abnormalities in the breast area rather than a woman’s. Since in female breast cancer, due to the developed breast tissues, any kind of lumps or thickenings are not felt easily. But, this is not the case with men.
What are the risk factors?
Watch out for the risk factors so that you can take preliminary steps in preventing the disease.
Level of estrogen-
Men dealing with prostate cancer are often recommended for hormonal therapy. This dangerously elevates their hormonal level by spiking up the amount of estrogen in them. The result of it can be facing breast cancer.
History of cancer in the family-
Family history generates the risk of breast cancer at a shooting rate. With the innate genes acquired from the lineage, the person may be vulnerable to breast cancer.
With advancing age, only laughing lines and wrinkles are not prominent. You may acquire fatal diseases like breast cancer too, which are primarily seen in males who are in their 60s. So, age is definitely one of the factors you should look out for.
Such disease increases the level of female hormones in your body. Thus, also increasing your risk of breast cancer.
Obesity is equated with higher tides of estrogen levels, which in turn enhances breast cancer risk.
Having inflamed or removed testicles can be another reason for breast cancer.
This syndrome includes an extra copy of the X chromosome. Such people have more female hormones, making them more vulnerable to breast cancer.
From the above factors, are you deducing that only female hormones are responsible for male breast cancer?
Ans: Female or male hormones, if elevated up to an uncontrollable extent, may cause lethal illnesses to the body. So elevated hormones…. Increase in cell numbers are all abnormal characteristics. It is a mandate to keep your health at priority to avoid bodily issues.
What are the types of Breast Cancer in Males?
The majority of male cancers start from the duct of the breasts.
Cancer that is produced in the milk-producing lobules of the breasts.
Other types of cancers-
The other rare type of breast cancer in males is Paget’s disease of the nipple and inflammatory breast cancer.
Talking about breast problems, you should know that breast cancer can be benign( which does not spread) or malignant, I.e., metastatic breast cancer. Another rapidly growing problem is Gynecomastia, a non-cancerous but endangering breast disorder.
How do you differentiate between gynecomastia and male breast cancer?
It is the most common type of breast disorder. The risk factors to it are similar to breast cancer in males. However, its peak period is either in the adolescent period or old age, where the maximum shift of hormones takes place. If you look for symptoms, both breast cancer and gynecomastia may appear to you as lumps formed in the breasts. So, a quick visit to Dr. Kaushal Yadav, one of the top oncologists in Gurgaon is mandatory when you find such citings.
Breast Cancer diagnosis-
Advanced technology has lifted the standards of diagnosing breast cancers. The survival rate in the last 5 years has improved due to the intricate details of diagnosis and appropriate treatment plans.
The tests and breast cancer clinical diagnostics that your doctor will suggest are;
- Mammogram ● Ultrasound
- Nipple discharge test
With adequate knowledge, now we at least know that the purpose of a mammogram is not restricted only to a woman! So when your doctor recommends you to these tests, follow his word for a speedy recovery.
Stats/ numbers to male breast cancer-
- Male breast cancer is a rare phenomenon occurring only at a rate of 1% of all cancers worldwide.
- Around 40% of men get diagnosed when the spread of cancer has already taken place, I.e., in breast cancer stage 3 or 4. This is due to their reluctant nature.
- The survival rate is up to 96% increased in breast tissue cancer, 83% when nearby tissues are affected, and 23% when it spreads to other regions.
- The lifetime risk of a man getting breast cancer is 1 in 833.
Male vs. Female breast cancer facts –
- Males and females both share a similar set of symptoms in breast cancer. The reason behind it being the structure of both men’s and women’s breasts is identical. The only difference is that men have underdeveloped breasts due to the lesser secretion of female hormones.
- The treatment plan is not different either. Female breast cancer is one of the standard types of occurring cancer, but since men do not show much prevalence in this category of cancer, many studies have not been done on it. Men do not have a separate
line of treatment. So, therefore, it is somewhat a challenge for doctors to treat men’s breast cancer.
- Men are reluctant to increase their chances of developing breast cancer, and they are also not given the awareness tips towards breast cancer, unlike women. So, the time of diagnosis lapses in the case of men. This is the sole reason as to why male breast cancer is diagnosed at a later stage, although it is much easily detected! Call it irony!
- Females have the most common type of cancer as breast cancer, and for males, it is a rare condition. But, vigilance is required the most now as the cases of men’s breast cancer are rapidly increasing.
Breast Cancer treatments-
Several treatment options are available for breast cancer in males;
- Surgery options include
- Mastectomy- Removal of the entire breast and the surrounding cancerous tissues
- Breast-conserving surgery- Only part of the breast is removed.
- Lymphectomy- Affected mammary lymph nodes are removed.
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Targeted therapy
The options for the treatment may vary. So if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, your doctor will sit down with you to explain the treatment procedures, and with mutual agreement after looking at all the pros and cons, your doctor will suggest the best treatment plan for you, upgrading your prognosis rate.
Ways to help prevent Breast Cancer-
- Limit your alcohol intake to lower down your breast cancer chance by 20%.
- Obesity is a cause of breast cancer due to the building up of estrogen levels. Take apt measures in maintaining your body weight.
- Take a highly plant-dominated diet to reduce your breast cancer risk.
- Run a mile to stay active. Yes, being inactive is also a risk factor that you should check upon.
- Hormonal therapies can increase your breast cancer chances. Talk to your doctor if you have breast cancer running down the heritage or any other factor which will only increase your risk of breast cancer by taking such therapies.
This blog post was targeted at answering all your questions regarding breast cancer in males. However, they might be more queries that you would possibly require an answer for…
How common is breast cancer in men?
Ans: Breast Cancer in men is a rare condition that has been present only in 1% of all cancers.
What is the survival rate of male breast cancer?
Ans: There is an overall 5 years of survival rate of men suffering from breast cancer.
Does male breast cancer lumps hurt?
Ans: No, lumps in breast cancer do not hurt, provided cancer has not reached an advanced stage.
Male breast cancer age?
Ans: This can primarily affect old age. Approximately people who are over 60 can have more risks of male breast cancer.
Why is there an increase of breasts in males?
Ans: Few men may have more estrogen levels, causing an increase in breast size, or simply it might be the fatty tissues. It should be remembered that bigger breast size should not be equated with having breast cancer.
How do men take breast cancer emotionally-
Breast cancer in men is quite distressing for them. Since breast cancer is rare, men do not readily even join support groups where there is mostly the majority of women. Very few men have to face its adverse effects, making them experience shame, embarrassment, and anxiety. Due to its rarity, men may also consider themselves to be less masculine after the diagnosis. Only this reluctance has caused later exposure to the disease. Every man should know that breast cancer is just another disease…that too a fatal one! So whenever you detect any abnormalities, immediately rush to the best oncologist in Delhi. The doctors are here to connect and share your problems so that you do not feel alone. All you have to do is maintain vigilance!
Dr. Kaushal Yadav is one of the best oncologists in Gurgaon, India who has helped many patients recover from the grasp of cancer.
Contact the best cancer doctor in Gurgaon!
Dr. Kaushal Yadav is an extensively trained cancer surgeon in Gurgaon, India with exceptional skills. An alumini of MS (Surgery) from PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India. Presently he is working as Senior Consultant Surgical Oncology at Narayna Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram.
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