However, despite its statistical prevalence in women, breast cancer is also something that can befall men, too. Though the chances of having breast cancer are significantly lower in men (less than one percent of breast cancer diagnoses per year happen to men, according to BreastCancer.org), It’s still important that men stay educated on the risk factors, signs and symptoms of this disease. Knowing possible risk factors, signs, and symptoms can assist in early screening and detection and can lead to a healthier and happier life.
Read on for signs and symptoms of male breast cancer, as well as the best methods for cancer self-checks and possible breast cancer screening options for men.
One potential risk factor is high estrogen levels. , a spike in estrogen in men can be the result of a number of things, including being overweight and/or exposure to estrogen in the environment. For example, taking hormonal medicines or consuming beef that contains added hormones could potentially affect one’s hormone levels.
Other risk factors of note include heavy drinking habits and liver disease, which can hamper the liver’s ability to regulate levels and results in an improper balance of androgens and estrogens in the body ().
Family history of breast cancer can also increase the risk in men, as can exposure to radiation through chest examinations prior to the age of 30.
All this being said, it’s important for men to take breast cancer seriously. Male breast cancer is not often discussed, so it’s crucial for men to be aware of its chances of occurrence and to be diligent about screening themselves for it and/or detecting any potential risk factors and symptoms they may have.
As the , ‘lumps’ in the breast area don’t always mean a man has breast cancer – though most instances of male breast cancer do feature lumps. Other symptoms include otherwise unlikely conditions such as fluid discharge, puckered skin and/or red, scaly skin in or around the nipples.
Self-Checks and Screening
Here’s a video representation of the self-test men can administer themselves:
After a self-test is completed, one can and should discuss any other concerns with his doctor and consider a screening test for further examination.
The Walk-In Lab offers three helpful screening tests for breast cancer and, in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they are featuring discounted prices if you use discount code ‘TrickCA’:
Just as women can undergo mastectomies to combat female breast cancer, it is also a potential treatment method for male breast cancer. In a mastectomy, all of the breast tissue is removed depending on the size and malignancy of the tumor or cancer in the surrounding area. a helpful resource regarding mastectomies for both men and women, as it’s a common method of treating breast cancer in both genders.
Female breast cancer is far and away more prevalent, but that means it also gets the attention it deserves. Male breast cancer is largely unknown to the public at large. Even with the NFL’s coalition to raise awareness, male breast cancer is not talked about. Don’t let shame prevent appropriate testing. It’s enough of a threat to a man’s health and livelihood that it’s important to take measures to screen and self-test (especially as one grows older)!