Everything you need to know about Breast Cancer in Men

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The causes, types and treatment of Male Breast Cancer


There are more than 100 types of cancers that affect humans, and breast cancer is one of them. Breast cancer in men can sound strange to some people, but it happens. Both men and women are born with some breast cells and tissues, although in men’s breast, milk production is absent. Breast cancer in men is quite rare and doesn’t appear at the early stage of life. Mostly, Men tend to get breast cancer after their 50s, but it can happen at any age, even teenagers can get attacked with some kind of breast disorders.

What is male breast cancer?

Every man is born with some breast tissues and cells, but after hitting the puberty girls start developing more breast cells and tissues but boys don’t, still, they have a little amount of it which can develop cancer. Breast cancer in men is the same as in women but slightly different in terms of physical appearance. Though male breast cancer cases are very rare, only one in a thousand man is diagnosed with breast cancer.

What causes breast cancer in men?

Often men in their 50s are at the higher risk of breast cancer. What causes breast cancer in men is yet to find, but usually breast cancer starts developing when the breast cells grow abnormally. Men have the same breast tissues as women do. After the puberty girls start gaining female hormones which grows breast ducts, and boys gain male hormones. Initially, boys are born with some female hormones, hence after puberty, they still have a little amount of it, and later it can develop the risk of male breast cancer.

Types of breast cancer in men

There are several types of breast cancer found in men, but the most common ones are ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive lobular carcinoma and invasive ductal carcinoma. Some very rare breast cancers in men are Infiltrating (or invasive) lobular carcinoma, Paget disease of the nipple, (a very rare breast cancer that affects men more than women) and Inflammatory breast cancer.

There are some other breast disorders which affect and only found in men. Men develop Gynecomastia which is the most common type of breast disorder in men. Gynecomastia affects teenagers more often due to hormonal changes during adolescence, and in some cases, it can happen due to some medical history.

Symptoms and treatment

Breast cancer symptoms in men are as same as in women and normally self-examination. Easily noticeable symptoms at an early stage are the lumps on the chest and swelling. In rare cases or later stages of cancer, nipple discharge, bleeding or nipple retraction can be seen. Most often physical exams, mammography and biopsies are offered to diagnose the breast cancer.

The treatment also follows the similar method in men as in women and most of the time it is curable, but men delay in seeking to a physician or undergoing a medical check-up, and the reason is lack of awareness causing the situation fatal. To cure male breast cancer surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy, and hormone therapy are often used. In men, hormone therapy has given more satisfying results.

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Conclusion 

Breast cancer in men is rare but possible. Men with a close and first-degree relationship with a cancer patient, radiation exposure of the chest, enlargement of breast (Gynecomastia), consuming estrogen, serious liver disease, testicular injury or disease called mumps orchitis are at the higher risk of male breast cancer. If you seek any abnormal and suspicious changes near your chest, consult to your doctor. Breast cancer is curable if detected at early stages, but delaying can cause it to spread to the other parts of the body and could be life-threatening.

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