Men and Breast Cancer
Men don't think of themselves as even having breasts. For men, it's their chest or their "pecs." So it is a surprise to most men to find out they are at risk for breast cancer.
The fact is, men have breast tissue, and they can get breast cancer. We don't know what causes breast cancer in men, but we do know there are things that may put a man at higher risk.
Awareness is key. Don't ignore warning signs! Call your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your chest area, such as a lump or a change in your nipples.
We can't prevent breast cancer, but if you do get breast cancer, it will make a difference if you find it early and get treated right away.
FACTS ABOUT MEN AND BREAST CANCER
- Men tend to discover they have breast cancer between ages 60 and 70.
- Men, like women, should examine their breasts monthly for any changes, including a lump, nipple tenderness, soreness, or discharge, skin dimpling, nipple redness or scaliness, or an inverted nipple.
- Screening mammograms for men are not covered by insurance, but diagnostic mammograms and other tests may be covered.
- Two African-American men per 100,000 develop breast cancer, compared to one white man per 100,000.
- African-American men, like African-American women, tend to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage of the disease.
- A family history of breast cancer increases the chance of developing breast cancer. Â All men with breast cancer might consider genetic testing forBRCA1andBRCA2.(See Genetic Counseling for more information).
- High levels of radiation exposure, high levels of estrogen, inherited gene mutation, being overweight, and heavy alcohol drinking are also risk factors that increase the chance of developing breast cancer.
- A lumpectomy for a man is similar to mastectomy for a woman because men have less breast tissue.
- A tumor in a man's breast can feel like a pulled muscle because the breast tissue is thinner than a woman's, and the tumor can be sitting on top of a muscle.
- Treatment for men and women with breast cancer is the same and involves a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy.
Imaginis.com - Information on breast cancer in men from an independent, comprehensive website on breast cancer.
John W. Nick Foundation - 866-222-4441 - Foundation with website dedicated to informing the medical community and public about male breast cancer.
MayoClinic.com - Information on male breast cancer from the renowned Mayo Clinic.
Medline Plus (S)- Information on male breast cancer from the National Library of Medicine, other government agencies, and health-related organizations.
National Cancer Institute - Male breast cancer resources from the government's leading cancer research institute.
People Living With Cancer (S)- Oncologist-approved information on male breast cancer from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.