Thursday, October 7, 2010
THE OTHER SIDE OF BREAST CANCER
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So much attention is focused on breast cancer in women but I want to remind the men and the women who love them that men do get breast cancer. Men have a small amount of non-functioning breast tissue which the growth is normally hated by the male hormone testosterone. There are certain conditions where men will have larger breast due to elevations in the female hormone estrogen. Also obesity has been associated with elevated levels of estrogen in men.
Breast cancer in men is rare, accounting for about 1% of all breast cancer, meaning there will be an estimated 1, 970 new case diagnosed in men and of those diagnosed 390 will die as a result. Just as with women, there are certain environmental and genetic factors that play a part in men developing breast cancer. A male that finds a firm, non-painful mass located below the nipple or any skins changes in the nipple are itself should see their practitioner. There are several ways a diagnosis can be made – a needle biopsy, removal of a portion of or the entire mass or if there is discharge of fluid from the nipple a smear can be made and examined. Just as with women, the treatment required will depend on the staging of the cancer and the condition of the patient. The need for awareness and treatment is the same as for cancer of the breast in women. To learn more about breast cancer in men visit Breast Cancer in Men Detailed Guide