Breast cancer is not a disease that exclusively affects women; men can develop breast cancer as well. Although men have less breast tissue than women, they also have breast tissue that can undergo cancerous changes. Statistically, women are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men. Male breast cancer is most common in men ages 60-70.
Although male breast cancer and breast cancer in women are similar, there are some distinct differences between the two. Such as breast size, and awareness affect early diagnosis, and survival chances for men with breast cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
As with female breast cancer, it is important that male breast cancer is detected at an early stage, which can help save lives. The earlier the disease is discovered, the higher the survival chance.
Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but a lump is often the most common indicator for breast cancer in men. The lump is more than often painless. Other signs of breast cancer in men are:
- Skin dimpling or puckering
- Development of a new retraction or indentation of the nipple
- Redness of scaling of the nipple or breast skin
- Nipple discharge of clear or bloody fluid
There is no certain way of saying why one man develops breast cancer, while another doesn't. Doctors do say that between 5 and 10% of breast cancer in men is inherited. There are certain risk factors that increase the chance of developing breast cancer.
- Age - average diagnosis age is 67
- Family History - if a close relative, such as a mother or sister, with breast cancer, the risk increases
- Radiation exposure
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Exposure to estrogen
- Liver disease
- Excess weight
- Excess use of alcohol