Breast cancer in male gender

Published July 24, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Nelly Favis Villafuerte

We are very much aware of breast cancer among women.  But not of breast cancer among men.  Though the cause of male breast cancer is not known… though there is yet no known way of preventing male breast cancer – the fact is that male cancer is not a myth; not a fiction; not a fertile imagination; not a passing nightmare; or a threat confined to the human mind.  It is already a fact.  In short, the male gender should know and realize that breast cancer is not limited only to women.

Let me share with you some interesting information about male breast cancer that I uploaded in the internet.  I suggest that the following information be checked and verified.  And if further information about male breast cancer is desired, I encourage you to do so by getting information from your family doctor and supplementing it with information from the internet and pass the information also to others.

  • Do you know that the possible signs of breast cancer are as follows:- a lump or swelling, which is usually (but not always) painless; a thickening in the breast tissue; skin dimpling or puckering; nipple retraction (turning inward); redness or scaling or the nipple or breast skin; skin lesion such as an ulcer; and discharge from the nipple.
  • Do you know that male breast cancer is most common in older men?  However, male breast cancer can occur at any age.  Breast cancer is most prevalent in men age 60 to 70.
  • Do you know that a male has a greater risk of breast cancer: 1) if one drinks heavy amounts of alcohol; 2) if one takes estrogen-related drugs as a hormone therapy for prostate cancer; 3) if one has a close family member with breast cancer; 4) if one has liver disease such as cirrhosis of the liver as the male hormones may be reduced and its female hormones increased; 5) if one is obese as the number of fat cells in the body increases.  Fat cells convert androgens (male hormones) into estrogen (female hormones) thus increasing the amount of estrogen in one’s body and resulting to more risk of breast cancer; and 6) if one undergoes radiation treatment to one’s chest.
  • Do you know that if a male is suspected of breast cancer, one of the diagnostic test and procedures that the doctor may conduct is mammogram, an x-ray of the breast tissue.  This is a painful and uncomfortable procedure that women fear because the breast will be pressed flat as much as possible.  Me, I have undergone this procedure some years ago.  I have never repeated the procedure since then.  Why?  Because the pain is indescribable.
  • Do you know that breast cancer is less common in men because their breast duct cells are less developed than those of women and because their breast cells are not constantly exposed to the growth-promoting effects of female hormones.
  • Do you know that while benign tumors are common in women, they are very rare in men.  Benign breast tumors (like abnormal lumps or masses of tissue) do not spread outside the breast and are not life threatening.
  • Do you know that according to the most recent estimates of the American Cancer Society for male breast cancer in the US – breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women.  For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in every 1,000.  The number of breast cancer cases in men relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years.
  • Do you know that aging is an important risk factor for the development of breast cancer in men.  The risk of breast cancer goes up as a man ages.  Men with breast cancer are on average about 68 years old when they are diagnosed.
  • Do you know that about one percent of breast cancer develops in male but lately the incidence of breast cancer in men has been increasing.  It is estimated that about 1,910 new cases are diagnosed annually in the US and about 300 in the UK.
  • Do you know that because of the smaller male breast size, lesions are easier to find in men. However, lack of awareness on the part of the male gender may result in postponing seeking medical attention.  Thus, many times, many of male breast cancer patients are already on Stage III and Stage IV when detected and by that time breast cancer has already spread to other parts of the body.

Hopefully, this article will create greater awareness to my male readers that breast cancer is not exclusive to the female gender.

Have a joyful day!

(For comments/reactions please send to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: [email protected]).