Do you know that breast cancer in men accounts for approximately 1% of all cases of breast cancer? However, the fact that men too can develop breast cancer is not quite known.
Although it is quite surprising to learn that men, just like women, are vulnerable to breast cancer, but you will be shocked to know that more than 1800 men develop breast cancer in the US each year. There is no doubt that women are more susceptible to breast cancer but because men too have breast tissue, they can also develop cancer of breast. Risk factors include high levels of estrogen, obesity, age, alcohol abuse and exposure to radiation.
Why Should You Know About Signs & Symptoms of Breast Cancer for Males
Learning signs and symptoms of breast cancer for males is very important. This is because most of the men who get diagnosed with cancer of breast at an early stage have very good chances of recovery as well as cure. By learning about signs and symptoms of you’ll be able to keep a check on yourself and in case you notice any unusual signs such as a lump in breast, you can always seek a doctor’s review.
Identification & Types Of Breast Cancer in Males
The most common sign of male breast cancer is a thickening of a section of breast. You can also call it a lump in breast. Some other signs that can help in identification of breast cancer are redness around the nipple area, scaling of nipples, puckering/skin dimpling, slight indentation in the nipple and discharge from nipple.
The main cause behind breast cancer is not yet known but there are a number of genetic and external influences that can be the cause behind male breast cancer. Some of these causes include Klinefelter’s Syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, having female relatives with a history of breast cancer and radiation therapy.
There are essentially four types of breast cancer in men namely cystosarcoma phylloides, ductile sarcoma, Paget’s Disease and ductile sarcoma in situ. While Ductile sarcoma is the cancer that starts in the breast ducts and then spread around the surrounding tissues, the Ductile sarcoma in situ also begins with breast ducts but does not spread. Similarly, cancer in the connective tissues that support breast ducts is called cyctosarcoma phylloides and cancer in the nipple’s skin is called Paget’s Disease.
Male breast cancer treatment options are often similar to that of female breast cancer and include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, drugs, surgery and hormone therapy.
Early Signs Of Male Breast Cancer
Discoloration around the nipple area or discoloration of the nipple itself is one of the most common and early symptoms of male breast cancer.
Inconsistency, lack of uniformity or irregularity in breast tissues is another early sign of male breast cancer. In case a man notices some kind of indentation in the shape or form of the chest, it can be a sign of male breast cancer. At times the indentation is fairly small. This is why it is very important to exercise a lot of care while checking the tissues around chest.
Other Possible Signs of Male Breast Cancer
Tenderness and pain in the chest tissues is a sign that should not be ignored. However, if you are exercising, the tenderness of tissues can also be because of that.
If skin that surrounds the nipple area begins to “pucker” or “dimple,” immediate consultation with Doctor is advised. There are high chances that the dimpled skin may have cancerous tumor underneath.
Scaling and Redness:
It is another very important sign of male breast cancer. Scaling or abnormal redness around the breast area, especially when skin resembles like snake skin or starts to peel, could be a sign of breast cancer. Skin redness is often an early sign of male breast cancer.
If you’ve noticed that your nipple is getting inverted, it could be a possible sign of breast cancer. It’s very important that you check with your doctor immediately.
Formation of lumps in male breast are easily detectable and they are quite a dangerous sign of breast cancer in men. Because in men, fat is far less than that of a woman’s breast, lumps are easily detectable. In case the tumor has grown big, you will notice a protrusion. There are high chances that this lump is cancerous and you must consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may even recommend a lumpectomy.
Lumpectomy is quite a common procedure for detection of breast cancer and you must consider yourself lucky if the breast cancer is at an early stage. Lumpectomy procedure in which the lump is removed either partially or completely from underneath the skin. In case of an early detection, this can prevent cancer from spreading.
Although, presence of lumps may not necessarily be a sign of breast cancer but it is very important to consult a doctor and get your condition diagnosed. If it is not a breast cancer, you may have gynecomastia, a condition that is benign and noncancerous.
Discharge from male nipples is undoubtedly an abnormal sign and it should not be ignored in any case. If you have noticed any discharge from your nipples, let your doctor physically examine your nipples under a microscope and see if there are any cancerous cells present.
Detection Of Male Breast Cancer
Self Breast Examination: Start with your right chest. Simply lie down straight and fold your right arm up, over your head. Now start feeling your bust area with help of middle three fingers. Your fingers must move around the entire chest area in circular but small motions. Make sure you feel entire breast and look for any signs of lumps or bumps. Repeat the same for the other breast. In case you notice any lumps, contact your doctor immediately.
Your doctor may recommend a digital mammogram to you. It is a very common step taken by doctors for detection of male breast cancer. During the process, the doctor will examine a computerized chest region X-ray and see if there is any abnormal growth or presence of lumps in chest. In case of detection of any abnormal tissue, you may further have to go for tissue sample test.
Ultrasounds screening is another method used for detection of male breast cancer. This method is also called Sonography as high-frequency sound waves are used during the screening.