Did you know breast cancer affects men too? Here’s how



When the breast cancer topic is brought up, many think of women bravely battling this and they are not totally wrong, as women are more commonly affected by breast cancer.

However, the truth is that men can be vulnerable to this disease as well.

It’s a reality that goes unnoticed, overshadowed by the larger narrative and due to the fact that it is rare. Let’s get more enlightened about this topic of male breast cancer that needs to be paid more attention.

First of all, let’s start with the basics: men have breast tissue too, although in smaller amounts than women.

This means that because of these tissues, just like women, men can develop breast cancer.

According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common types of breast cancer in men are:

Invasive ductal carcinoma: This cancer starts in the ducts of the breast and then extends beyond the ducts into other areas of the breast tissue.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): This is a condition that can progress into invasive breast cancer. In this case, cancer cells are only in the lining of the ducts and have not yet spread to other breast tissues.

These are the symptoms you should watch out for:

A lump or thickening: The most common symptom is a painless lump or thickening in the breast tissue or under the nipple. Don’t ignore any unusual changes.

Nipple changes: Men need to pay attention to changes in the nipple, such as retraction, redness, scaling, or discharge.

Breast pain: This symptom is less common, but it can also be a sign of breast cancer in men.

The exact cause of breast cancer in males has remained unclear but several factors can increase a man’s likelihood of developing this disease.

Age: As with many cancers, the risk increases with age. Most cases of male breast cancer are common in men over 60.

Family history: A family history of breast cancer, particularly among close relatives like sisters, mothers, or daughters, can heighten the risk.

Radiation exposure: Men who had prior exposure to radiation therapy for other medical conditions have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.

Liver disease: Liver diseases, such as cirrhosis, can affect hormone metabolism and increase the risk of male breast cancer.

Early detection can be a lifesaver. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above or have concerns about your risk, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. They would recommend imaging tests like mammograms, ultrasounds, or biopsies to confirm or rule out cancer.

Now that you’re aware that men can and do get breast cancer, let’s work together to raise awareness, spread the word, and share this information.

Together, we can break the silence and educate others about male breast cancer.

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