Pattaya Daily News

29 June 2007 :: 14:06:03 pm 21931

Are You At Risk For Male Breast Cancer?

The reason why we don‘t hear about the disease in men as often as for women is simply because it occurs less frequently in men. This is also the reason why researchers have a hard time studying the disease and the effects it has on a bigger male population.
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In the United States, male breast cancer accounts for 1% of cases of breast cancer, and it represents about 0.2% of all malignancies in men. In women, breast cancer represents 26% of all cancers. In addition, all of the types of breast cancer seen in women can occur in men, although some are quite

SYMPTOMS

A painless lump, usually discovered by the patient himself. The lump appears right beneath the breast, where breast tissue is concentrated. A lump, however, is seldom the only symptom.

Men are more likely than women to have nipple discharge (sometimes bloody) and signs of local spreading, including nipple retraction, fixation to the skin or the underlying tissues, and skin ulceration. Most male breast cancers are not large.

One study that reviewed a large number of cases found that 51% of the tumors were less than 1.5 inch in diameter. The largest, however, measured 91 square inches

KEY TO SURVIVAL

Many people are unaware that men can develop breast cancer. When men discover signs of breast cancer, they tend to delay before seeing a physician.

A 1972 review of cases diagnosed since 1900 showed that men waited 18 months, on the average, before seeking medical advice. For men diagnosed since 1951, this dropped to 10 months.

Such a delay may in part occur because some men perceive breast cancer as a flaw in their masculinity and are reluctant to acknowledge its presence. This is exactly why you should ask your doctor to examine your breasts for any signs of cancer during your next check up.

ARE YOU AT RISK?

Here’s a comprehensive list of some of the risk factors attributed to breast cancer in men.

1. Age The average age of men at diagnosis is close to 65, about 5 years older than the average age for women.

2. Ethnicity According to NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program, breast cancer affects 14 black men and 8 white men in every million. Some studies also suggest that the prevalence is higher among Jewish males of European ancestry.

3. Geography In Egypt, male breast cancer represents 6% of all breast cancers, and in Zambia, it accounts for 15%.

4. Socioeconomic Status A recent study found that the breast cancer patients were more likely to be college graduates and employed as professionals or managers.

5. Heredity Several researchers have reported two or more cases of male breast cancer within a single family.

6. Hormones Abnormal hormonal activity could play a role in the development of male breast cancer as well. Numerous studies suggest that men with breast cancer display abnormal patterns of hormone metabolism and excretion. At the same time, it has long been known that men with breast cancer tend to respond well to hormone therapy.

TREATMENT The treatment is generally similar to the treatment of female breast cancer. The basic therapy for cancer that shows no signs of distant spreading is surgery. In advanced stages, it is hormonal and chemotherapy. Also, it is always best to consult your physician about treatment alternatives, such as involving yourself in an experimental clinical trial.

In the meantime, it is important that individual physicians and surgeons keep careful records to document the cases of the several hundred men who develop breast cancer each year in the US.

To improve the prognosis of male breast cancer, broader efforts are needed to let men know that

the disease exists and that, like other cancers, it can be cured or controlled if it is diagnosed and treated promptly.

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Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Health

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