Can Men Get Breast Cancer And What Are The Symptoms?
December 30, 2012 breast cancer

It is quite common you hear people ask “can men get breast cancer” as men don’t have breasts.  Breast Cancer in Men Breast cancer occurrence in men is a rare condition, but it is possible that men get affect with this type of cancer. Confused how is it practical for male populace to develop cancer of the breast is mostly a good query considering the fact that the description is affiliated with the top of the frontal part of the torso on the woman.

It is reported that only 1 percent of the people suffering from breast cancer are actually men and it affects older men and young men are at negligible risk of this disease. Peak age for developing breast cancer is after 70 years of age.

However, men do have breast tissue. This breast tissue in men normally stays small and flat. Some men develop what look like medium or large breasts. In actual fact, this is just fat collection as the man will more than likely be unfit and overweight. Some men do also grow actual breasts as a result of medication or unusually high hormone levels within the body. Therefore, it is possible yes if you ask can men get breast cancer.

Breast cancer develops in the inner lining tissue of the milk ducts and that of the lobules. Due to the fact that men also have ducts and a few lobules, it is possible for cancer to develop in these tissues. The low incidence of breast cancer in men is attributed to the reduced amount of male’s breast tissue compared to that of a woman’s breast. The advantage of having a reduced amount of breast tissue is that any abnormal growths or lumps can be easily noticed. Unfortunately, because breast cancer is so rare in men and most consider the disease to affect only women, men will often ignore the early signs or attribute them to erroneous causes (such as infections or injuries).

Surprisingly, male breast cancer appears to be less common in married men and in those with many children. Like women, most cases have been observed in the left breast although it is not clear why.

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Men
There are few risk factors, which could increase risk of breast cancer in men. They are as follows-

1. Obese or heavy weight male
Being obese or overweight increases the body’s production of estrogens levels within a male. This then makes them more at risk of getting breast cancer.

2. Regular and high consumption of alcohol

3. Liver damage or dysfunction is more prone to this disease.
Cirrhosis of the liver is caused by genetic disorders, but most commonly results from chronic alcohol abuse or chronic viral hepatitis. The role of the liver is to produce binding proteins that regulate the deliverance and transportation of the male and female hormones via the bloodstream. When the normal functioning of the liver is affected by cirrhosis, toxic substances tend to accumulate within the liver which compromises its natural function. Cirrhotic men have higher levels of estrogen within their bloodstream which increases the risk of developing breast tumors.
4. Testicular abnormality or damage is also likely to develop this disease.

5. Exposure to Radiation therapy on around the chest
Radiation treatment to treat such diseases like Hodgkin’s disease can increase a man risk of getting breast cancer. This is especially true if the radiation treatment was given to the patient before they turned thirty years of age.

6. Family history
Breast cancer, especially with a BRCA2 mutation type breast cancer is much more chance of developing it later on in life. . It can be genetically passed on from male to male in the family.

7. Klinefelter’s Syndrome.
This is a rare genetic condition where a man is born with an extra female chromosome. He is XXY instead of XY, making his risk the same as for the average woman. Such male has a risk factor of 20% higher than his other male counterparts with the XY chromosome.

8. Aging.
The usual age when men are diagnosed is around the mid 60’s.

can men get breast cancer_elderly

9. Hormone imbalance
Higher estrogen levels than normal can be a factor for men developing breast cancer. If a man is taking hormone medication for some reason, he may begin to develop breasts. As a result, he may be more at risk of developing breast cancer.
Those who undergone prostate cancer hormone therapies also are in the high risk group as their body have more hormone estrogen.

Symptoms of Breast cancer in Men
Men developing male breast cancer may experience a lump or bump in the breast, underarm or collarbone area, painful nipples, discharging nipples, inverted nipples and sores around the nipple area.
Bleeding of the nipple may also be experienced, which indicate that the cancer may already have reached the lymph nodes, and wherein immediate medical intervention is needed. Another sign to look out for is an abnormality of the skin surrounding the area of the lump.

Breast cancer in men can be effectively treated if detected in its early stages of development and before it spreads to other parts of the body. The treatment options vary from surgery to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy. The treatment methods depends on the stage of the cancer, the age of the patient and his general health, and the extent of the cancer, which can only be decided by the medical team in collaboration with the patient. Now you have understand and should not have this question like “can men get breast cancer” anymore.

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