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Did you know? Men too are at risk of contracting breast cancer

As we continue to acknowledge the month of cancer survivors, awareness about various types of cancer still remains a key principle in the commemoration of cancer survivor month, and in this piece we take a gander at breast cancer in men.

Breast cancer is a widely recognized health concern, commonly associated with women. However, it has now become a concern that men can also develop breast cancer, albeit at significantly lower rates. 

The underlying causes of breast cancer in men are still being researched, but certain risk factors have been identified. According to reliable health sources, the primary cause is an imbalance of hormones, particularly an increase in estrogen levels. This hormonal imbalance can occur due to various reasons, such as inherited gene mutations (e.g., BRCA2), exposure to high levels of radiation, or certain medical conditions like Klinefelter syndrome.

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Breast cancer in men is relatively rare, accounting for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases. It primarily affects older men, with the average age of diagnosis being around 68 years. Although it can occur at any age, the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. Moreover, men with a family history of breast cancer or certain genetic mutations are also at higher risk.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in the United States in 2023. Additionally, around 500 deaths are expected from this condition. While these numbers may seem low compared to breast cancer in women, it is essential to raise awareness about breast cancer in men to ensure early detection and improved outcomes.

One encouraging trend in recent years is the increasing awareness of breast cancer in men, leading to improved diagnosis rates. Medical professionals and advocacy groups are actively working to educate both healthcare providers and the general public about the signs and symptoms of male breast cancer. This increased awareness has resulted in earlier detection, allowing for more effective treatment and improved survival rates.

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The signs and symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those experienced by women and may include:

  • A lump or thickening in the breast or chest area.
  • Changes in the size or shape of the breast.
  • Nipple changes, such as inversion, redness, or scaling.
  • Discharge from the nipple.
  • Swelling or lumps in the lymph nodes under the arm.

Although breast cancer is predominantly associated with women, men are also susceptible to this disease. While the incidence is relatively low, it is crucial to be aware of the causes, risk factors, and signs of breast cancer in men.

Early detection plays a vital role in the successful treatment and improved outcomes of this condition. By spreading awareness and encouraging regular self-examinations and screenings, we can ensure that breast cancer in men receives the attention and support it deserves.

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