Breast Cancer In Men: Myth or Fact

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Happy October everyone! This happens to be the start of breast cancer awareness month so I decided to answer the most common question I hear in the month of October; “Can men really get breast cancer?” The answer to this is yes. Although men can get breast cancer, it is extremely rare ( some sources say less than 1%). Sounds reassuring right. The problem is it is often found too late in men, resulting in increased mortality. It is diagnosed usually when they are much older in age since there are no screening for men. The important thing to understand is that the symptoms are similar to those in women when symptoms are actually present. These symptoms include breast lumps (most often painless), skin thickening or ulceration, cloudy or bloody nipple discharge, nipple retraction, and breast dimpling ( this sometimes resemble the skin of an orange).  Men are diagnosed with the same mammography and ultrasounds used to diagnose women with breast cancer as well. The treatment is also the same including surgical removal of the breast or lump, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy as needed. Some risk factors for breast cancer do fall heavily on genetics, but smoking and the use of alcohol increases the the risk of developing breast cancer in both sexes as well.

I hope this answered some of your questions about breast cancer in men.

Enjoy a new and informative month, and stay beautiful.

For additional information you may visit cancercenter.com

Ashlie Martin

Ashlie Martin

Meharry Medical Student with Interest in improving health care in the LGBT community as a future family physician.

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