When said about breast cancer, most of us think it is a women disease but it isn’t exclusive to women only. While breast cancer still effect more than 100 times to women there’s are much less likely men to detect breast cancer early.
David Euhus, M.D director of breast surgery at the John Hopkins Breast Cancers notes that breast cancer survival rates are the same in women and men. Most men are more likely to ignore a lump in their breast and tend to present at higher stages than women.
This trend is believed to be the primary factor contributing to the 25 percent higher mortality rate for male that being diagnoses with breast cancer compared to female. Once the disease has spread to the lymph nodes, it requires more aggressive treatment and can increase the likehood of developing a second cancer. It show men with breast cancer have a higher risk to develop melanoma and prostate cancer.
Euhus issue this problem because men weren’t being offered the traditional breast cancer regimen provided to women. Common treatment such a chemotherapy, hormone therapy and mastectomy.
Greater awareness among men and their health care providers is the most critical element of lowering the incidence of male breast cancer, he says. Additional risk factors for male breast cancer include obesity, older age, radiation exposure, a family history of breast cancer, overdeveloped breast tissue (or gynecomastia), exposure to estrogen and heavy alcohol use.
Type of Breast Cancer Found in Men
The following types of breast cancer are found in men:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma: Cancer that has spread beyond the cells lining ducts in the breast. This is the most common type of breast cancer in men.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ: Abnormal cells that are found in the lining of a duct; also called intraductal carcinoma.
- Inflammatory breast cancer: A type of cancer in which the breast looks red and swollen and feels warm.
- Paget disease of the nipple: A tumor that has grown from ducts beneath the nipple onto the surface of the nipple.
Men with breast cancer usually have lumps that can be felt.
Lumps and other signs may be caused by male breast cancer or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast.
- A nipple turned inward into the breast.
- Fluid from the nipple, especially if it’s bloody.
- Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola (the dark area of skin around the nipple).
- Dimples in the breast that look like the skin of an orange, called peau d’orange.
Exams and Tests
You health care provider will take your medical history and family medical history. You will have a physical exam and a breast exam.
Your provider may order other tests, including:
- A mammogram
- Breast ultrasound
- An MRI of the breast
- A blood test to check for signs of cancer
- If any of the tests suggest cancer, your provider will do a biopsy to check for cancer.
If cancer is found, your provider will order other tests to find out:
- How quickly the cancer might grow
- How likely it is to spread
- What treatments might be best
- What are the chances that the cancer might come back
The tests may include:
- Chest x-ray, specifically to see if it has spread to the lungs
- Bone scan
- CT scan
- PET scan
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy to check if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
The biopsy and other tests will be used to grade and stage the tumor. The results of those tests will help determine your treatment.
Treatment options for breast cancer in men include:
- Surgery to remove the breast, lymph nodes under the arm, the lining over chest muscles, and chest muscles, if needed
- Radiation therapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and to target specific tumors
- Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body
- Hormone therapy to block hormones that may help certain types of breast cancer grow
During and after treatment, your provider may ask you to have more tests. This may include tests you had during diagnosis. The follow-up tests will show how the treatment is working. They will also show if the cancer comes back.