While many people associate breast cancer with women, men can also develop this dangerous cancer. You read right, MEN can get breast cancer, too! While BreastCancer.org states that only 1% of cases occur in men, many people are unaware that men can also develop breast cancer. Breast cancer may be more common in women, but the rarity of this cancer in men does not mean spreading awareness is any less important.
Breaking men's breast cancer down:
Everyone is born with breast cells and tissue. Although men do not develop milk-producing breasts, they can still develop breast cancer. Men’s breast cancer typically is discovered due to a hard lump underneath their areola, similar to how it is found in women.
Although the specifics of the disease are the same for both men and women, men with breast cancer experience a higher mortality rate than women simply because of the lack of awareness. Women are constantly being encouraged to receive yearly mammograms, check regularly for irregular lumps, and to take precautionary steps.
Unfortunately, men are usually unaware of this silent threat and do not take these precautionary steps and likely do not consider a lump to be a sign of danger. There are few clinical studies available to fully understand the male breast cancer threat. Without men being aware and cautious of this threat, they are vulnerable to leaving breast cancer untreated.
How can a man develop breast cancer?
Men can develop breast cancer for a variety of reasons: High radiation exposure, increased levels of estrogen, and/or a family history of breast cancer. Any mass, breast changes, dimpling, puckering, nipple retraction, redness, scaling, or nipple discharge is a red flag and is caused to consult your physician immediately! So, men please pay attention to any breast abnormalities that you may experience. Consult your doctor immediately to address the situation and receive a medical professional's expertise.
Let’s spread awareness!
Let’s break the stigma that breast cancer can only occur in women and spread awareness for men’s breast cancer. While it may be rare, men are susceptible to developing this disease. Being informed about the symptoms and risks associated with men’s breast cancer is of utmost importance during Breast Cancer Awareness month as well as informing women about the importance of annual screenings. Our BICRAD team stresses the importance of breast cancer awareness, and we hope this helped you become more aware of a lesser known phenomenon.