Male Breast Cancer– An Overview

Breast cancer is mostly associated with women and to some extent it is even right as from the total number of people affected with breast cancer about 99% of them are women.

What then happens to the balance 1%? Well, that belongs to the number of males suffering from breast cancer. Male Breast Cancer is actually quite rare. It is noted that in about a 100 cases of breast cancer there would be just one man suffering from this disease.

Now you may wonder how men can suffer from ‘breast cancer’. One of the factors that could probably enable male breast cancer is the presence of a slight amount of breast tissues in a man’s body. In fact, on physical grounds it is found that breast of a woman before puberty is quite similar to the ‘breasts’ of a man in his adult years.

While a woman’s body releases the hormones that enable the development of these breast tissues during puberty a man’s body does not do the same. But, since these tissues are present in their body they do stand a risk of developing breast cancer.

Just like female breast cancer, men too may suffer from ductal or lobular carcinoma. However, lobular carcinoma in men is even more unlikely. Male breast cancer is more common in men above the age of 60.

If you received any treatment as a child which required exposing your chest to radiations or if any of your family members have suffered from breast cancer you too could be at a risk of developing it. Men suffering from gynecomastia, i.e. the abnormal enlargement of breasts, or from liver problems are more prone to developing breast cancer.

Some of the symptoms of male breast cancer are the sudden appearance of a lump or the thickening of the tissues of the breast. Many a times breast cancer also triggers a change in the appearance of the skin around the breast– it may appear to be inflamed, red, puckered, dimpled etc. You may also experience changes in the shape of the nipple along with an inversion of the same. An abnormal discharge too is emitted from the nipples.

Male breast cancer too is most survivable in the initial stages. Unfortunately, men fail to recognize the symptoms and approach the doctor earlier.

Rakesh Kumar Lakshman

Written many TV serials including Health Based TV Shows, several articles and stories for various renowned magazines and also written articles for websites.