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Breast Cancer in Men: Understanding Risks and Challenges

November 15, 20231 min read

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Over 2,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed in men in the United States annually. In comparison, over 280,000 cases are diagnosed in women.

Breast cancer in men is diagnosed at a later stage on average than in women because men aren't looking for it. They're not expecting it and less likely to notice a lump or other change on the chest.

A person holding a pink image of a breast in pink canvas

So, what are the risk factors for breast cancer in men?

Some of the most common risk factors include:

  1. Age: The risk of breast cancer increases with age, and most cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 60.

  1. Family history: Men with a family history of breast cancer may be at increased risk.

  2. Exposure to estrogen: Men who have been treated with estrogen for prostate cancer may be at increased risk.

  3. Klinefelter syndrome: This genetic condition, which affects about 1 in 1,000 men, is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Symptoms of breast cancer in men can include a lump or swelling in the breast, nipple discharge, or changes in the skin on the breast. Don't ignore these - if they persist, see your physician.

Diagnosis and treatment in men is similar to treatment for breast cancer in women. Expect to get a mammogram, maybe sonogram, needle biopsy. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

In conclusion, breast cancer in men is a rare but serious disease that requires awareness and attention. Aware men can take steps to reduce their risk and detect the disease early if it does develop.

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