Male breast cancer occurs when there is uncontrolled growth of cells in the male breast. Although this type of cancer is more common in women than in men, there are a percentage of men who suffer from it. This disease usually occurs in men who are in their sixties and seventies. Signs of this disease in men include discharge from the nipple, swelling, skin dimpling or nipple retraction. Breast lumps are easier to detect in men than it is for women. This is because men have less breast tissue than women.
Many men will fail to report any of the above symptoms for fear of stigmatization. Breast cancer is considered a woman disease, and most males will shy away from admitting that they could be suffering from it. Men usually suffer from a benign type of this disease called gynecomastia, which results in the increase of breast tissue. However, some medications have been known to cause gynecomastia, such as those used to treat acidity or high blood pressure. Men also suffer from the different types of the disease that are usually found in women.
Breast cancer in men could result from factors such as exposure to radiation, family history of the disease, including in female family members or even exposure to female hormones. A person will usually do a self-exam on himself and when anything unusual is detected, they go for further tests. This will include a mammogram, a biopsy or an ultrasound. As is the case with all cancers, not all lumps prove cancerous as they sometimes turn out as benign. In males, treatment of this disease is also done using a surgical procedure called a mastectomy. Males also go through chemotherapy and other hormonal therapies used on their female counterparts.
It is very important to have breast cancer detected early so as to get treatment started as soon as possible. This will also help in preventing the cancer cells from spreading to other tissues. In addition, survival rates for males are the same as for females if they are both detected at the same stage. It is very important for communities to begin support groups for survivors of this disease. The groups should involve both males and females. These groups should provide support, empathy, education and care for those that are undergoing treatment and for the survivors. It is also important to have family members and friends providing you with support on a personalized level.