Caution Ahead: Male Breast Cancer

Caution Ahead: Male Breast Cancer

Did you spot that lump in your breast—it could be even painless—or noticed any changes in your nipples or skin in the form of dimpling? Then, it can be a sign of breast cancer. Yes, you heard it right! Most of us, are aware of the deadly disease and its effects but not about its preys. Men shall check for this, and the women for their men too. 



Male breast cancer, though commonly seen in the older group of 60-70 years but not unseen in younger men of forties, is rare cancer that tends to form in the breast tissues of men. Though it is often known that breast cancer occurs in women, shockingly, it may occur in men too. Lack of awareness can delay the diagnosis to an inoperable stage. Hence, like women, even men should undergo tests from time to time. Thanks to the improving standards of technology in the healthcare industry today, it is possible to make an early proper and thorough diagnosis and tackle the symptoms of cancer at the right time.



However, older men in the age group of 60-70 are at an increased risk of suffering from breast cancer, but the ones who have it existing in their families have a chance of getting affected by it even at a younger age. The causes of male breast cancer are unknown. But it is said that male breast cancer may occur when cells present in the breast divide more rapidly than healthy cells do. Furthermore, the cells that accumulate form a tumour which can spread (metastasise) to nearby tissue, to the lymph nodes or even to the other parts of the body.



The big question—what are the symptoms? Prominent changes in the nipples, marked by redness and scaling or nipples turning inwards, can be one of the concerns. Adding answers to this question, a painless lump or thickening in the breast tissue, changes in the skin that tends to cover your breast like dimpling, puckering or scaling and nipple discharge are some more symptoms to be cautious about. 



Opting for a physical examination like a mammogram, an ultrasound, a nipple discharge test or a biopsy can be helpful in diagnosing breast cancer in men. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy can also help depending on the stage. Your doctor will suggest the treatment based on the grade, location and type of cancer one has. Cure rates of over 90 per cent are presently achievable in the stage. 

The article courtesy goes to Dr Ramakant Deshpande, Surgical Oncologist, Asian Cancer Institute.


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