Yes gentlemen, men are at risk for developing breast cancer too. While women are by far at a higher risk than men are, it’s still a possibility and October is breast cancer awareness month so you might as well learn the facts. Only one percent of breast cancer diagnosis are in men, but the overall numbers are quite large so that ends being 2,000 men diagnosed and 440 male deaths each year. Significant enough to be aware.
Hopefully no men that you know have gone through a positive diagnosis, but some public figures you know of have. Famous men that have had breast cancer inlcude the actor Richard Roundtree, game show announcer Ron Roddy (who lost his life), politician Edward Brooke, KISS drummer Peter Chris, and NFL player Ernie Green.
The reason why it’s possible for men to get breast cancer is simply because everyone has some breast tissue, and any type of cell in the body has the potential to change into a cancerous form. Men are generally less likely to get breast cancer than women because the duct cells are less developed, and of course their hormones are different.
One of the dangers of having cancerous cells in the breast tissue, is that it’s a quick jump into the lymph nodes which can spread the cancer to other areas of the body pretty quickly as well.
Just like for women, the best way to stay on top of it is to do self checks to feel the tissue in the chest area. Anytime a lump or bump appears it’s time to get it checked out by a doctor, just in case. Don’t panic if you do feel a lump however, since there are a variety of reasons why you might. Sometimes a lumpy area is naturally prevalent and you just never noticed it before. Other times there can be rare but benign tumors is the breast tissue which means it won’t be spreading to other areas of the body and can be handled more easily.
Additionally, there is a condition called Gynecomastia which can sometimes appear to be a lump in the breast at first but is actually a case of more breast tissue developing. Some men go through this during the puberty stages of life thanks to changing hormones, and others experience this because of certain medications that are taken to treat things like heart burn and high blood pressure. Being overweight also adds to the risk. Pretty much anything that results in a off balance of hormones and an increase in estrogen production. Occasionally tumors will do this, so pretty much if at any time you experience a change in your chest area it’s worth getting it checked out.
Just like for women (and every other kind of cancer out there), the earlier breast cancer is caught, the better the chances are of treating it or removing it, stopping it spread, and reaching a full recovery.