Veronica Kumeta

15 June 2019

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Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too

Although women are stereotypically known to be the only sex to develop breast cancer, this actually isn’t the case. It is also extremely common in men – the only difference is that it is very rarely talked about.

 

Although men don’t have breasts like women do, they still have breast tissue which is similar in the early stages of puberty in girls; when the breasts have not yet fully developed. Due to this, men are still prone to developing the same symptoms of breast cancer that women experience.

 

One of the main problems with the diagnosis of male breast cancer is that it’s often overlooked in the early stages, meaning that they visit their GP later on down the line. Men tend to believe that their symptoms are nothing serious, as there is very little awareness of male breast cancer; unlike women who are told to check themselves on a regular basis for anything that may look or feel peculiar or unfamiliar.

 

Be assured that it’s very uncommon for men under the age of 35 to develop breast cancer, however, it also shouldn’t be ruled out. As a man ages, the likelihood of getting breast cancer rises significantly; typically occurring between the ages of 60-70 years old.*2

 

There are also a number of other factors that may increase a male’s likelihood of developing breast cancer; including:*2

• Being related to a female relative has been diagnosed with breast cancer
• Have contracted liver disease called ‘cirrhosis’
• Enlargement of the breasts due to hormone or drug treatments
• Testicular injury or diseases of the testicles
• Radiation exposure in the chest area

 

Symptoms to look out for

Here are some of the most common symptoms of breast cancer in men:*1
• Bleeding nipples
• A painless lump in the breast
• Inverted nipple
• Discharge from the nipple
• Rash around the nipple
• Lumps in the armpit

 

What happens next?

 

The severity of breast cancer in men all depends on when it was diagnosed. Luckily, it could be cured if it is found early enough and hasn’t yet spread to other places around the body. Once the cancer has been diagnosed, it can be treated in a variety of ways to enhance the chances of fighting the disease.

 

We hope that this guide has given you some important information on male breast cancer, that could help you (if you’re a male) or have a male relative or friend who has been experiencing similar symptoms. Please advise them to visit their GP to get checked out if any of the above symptoms develop, or perhaps feel as though they may be at a higher risk of developing male breast cancer.

 

References
1. nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer-in-men
2. webmd.com/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-men