Male Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer is primarily a woman's disease, however it can be a man's disease. Men tend to delay seeing a doctor about a lump in their chest. For this reason, many male breast cancers are diagnosed when the disease is more advanced.
1. Everyone is born with a small amount of breast tissue. Breast tissue is made up of milk-producing glands (lobules), ducts that carry milk to nipples and fat. Because of Estrogen, women begin developing more breast tissue during puberty and men do not. Because men are born with small amount of breast tissue, they can develop breast cancer. Do NOT ignore symptoms!
2. Male breast cancer is rare: and accounts for only 1% of all breast cancers
3. Risk Factors:Age -- most common in men ages 60 to 70. Exposure to estrogen -- as in sex-change procedure or Drugs that may be used in hormone therapy for prostate cancer; Klinefelter's syndrome -- this genetic syndrome occurs when a boy is born with more than copy of the X chromosome. Men with Klinefelter's produce lower levels of certain male hormones (Androgens) and more female hormones (estrogens); Obesity -- Obesity may be risk factor for breast cancer in men because it increases the number of fat cells in the body. Fat cells convert androgens into estrogen in your body and therefore, an increased risk ob breast cancer; If you have a close family member with breast cancer, you have a greater chance of developing the disease. Radiation Exposure -- If you've received radiation treatments such as those used to treat cancers in the chest, you're more likely to develop breast cancer later in life.
4. Symptoms: A painless lump or thickening in your breast tissue' Changes to the skin covering the breast, such as dimpling, puckering, redness or scaling; Changes to your nipple, such as redness or scaling, or a nipple that begins to turn inward; discharge from your nipple.
5. Types of Breast cancer diagnosed in men include: Ductal Carsinoma -- most common type of male breast cancer. Milk Producing Glands (Lobular carcinoma) -- rare in men because few have lobules in their breast tissue. Nipple -- in some cases breast cancer can form in the milk ducts and spread to the nipple, causing crusty, scaly skin around the nipple. This is called (Pagent's) disease of the nipple.
6. Staging of male breast cancer -- Is stage 0, I, II, III, and stage IV. The same as female breast cancer. Like female breast cancer -- The earlier male breast cancer is diagnosed, the better chance of survival.
7. Prevention: Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all; Maintain a healthy weight -- work to maintain it.
How common is male breast cancer?
Breast cancer in males is a rare condition, accounting for only about 1% of all breast cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates in 2010, about 1,970 new cases of breast cancer in men would be diagnosed and that breast cancer would cause approximately 390 deaths in men (in comparison, almost 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year). Breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than in men. Many cases of male breast cancer are detected in males between 60 and 70, however, the condition can develop in men of any age. The lifetime risk of a man developing breast cancer is about 1/10 of 1%, or one in 1,000.
Male Breast Cancer Survival Rates
Disease-specific five-year survival rates (meaning the percentage of patients who do not die of the disease for at least five years following diagnosis) reported for male breast cancer by stage are as follows:
- Stage 0 - 100%
- Stage I - 96%
- Stage II - 88%
- Stage III - 60%
- Stage IV - 23%
These survival rates were calculated using historical data, and it is likely that current treatments will lead to even greater survival rates for those recently diagnosed. medicinenet.com
The American Cancer Society
United States. "Breast Cancer." National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast>.
United States. "Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results." National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health. <http://www.seer.cancer.gov>.
The Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network, Inc.
(BCSN) is a Georgia non-profit 501(c)(3) volunteer-led
organization that provides FREE programs, services and medical supplies, as
well as community education.