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Understanding Male Breast Cancer

Posted Oct 28 2010 9:05am

Male breast cancer is a rare condition, accounting for only about 1% of all breast cancers. Information about male breast cancer is also rare with few reliable sources available to inform and educate man about this serious disease.

As we hope male breast cancer occurrence remains rare, we certainly believe raising awareness and supporting men battling breast cancer does not need to stay under the “rare status”.

The American Cancer Society estimates an average of nearly 2,000 new cases of breast cancer in men a year, causing approximately 500 deaths in men. In comparison, over 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year. A man’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about one in 1,000.

Nevertheless, risk factors for male breast cancer are similar to female breast cancer such as exposure to radiation, Hyperestrogenism (high estrogen levels), family history of breast cancer, or diseases such as cirrhosis or Klinefelter’s syndrome.

Symptoms of male breast cancer include lumps, changes to the nipple or breast skin, or discharge of fluid from the nipple. Just like breast cancer in women, cancer of the male breast is the uncontrolled growth of the cells of this breast tissue and prevention is always the best treatment.

Diagnosis of breast cancer requires identifying cancer cells in tissue specimens obtained by biopsy. Since men have little breast tissue, cancers in male breasts are easily located by feel and, therefore, are easily accessible to biopsy. A male self breast exam is simple and can be performed in just a few minutes.

Once the initial diagnosis of breast cancer has been made, treatment for male breast cancer is usually a mastectomy, a type of surgery to remove the breast. Other treatments include radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

You can reduce your risk of cancer by following the simple steps: eat healthy , exercise daily and avoid smoking. Natural supplements for cancer prevention can also be useful. A healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to help our bodies fight off cancer. For more information visit www.hisbreastcancer.org , a site and organization that helps to raise awareness about male breast cancer.

Image Credit: breastimpressions.com

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