Many people may not know that male breast cancer isn’t just a disease that only impacts women. In fact, it is estimated that one in every eight men will develop the disease at some point in their lifetime. Knowing the signs of breast cancer in men can help to give you a fighting chance against this deadly disease.
There are many women who fear breast cancer and it’s important to know the signs. There are also many men who do not yet know the signs of male breast cancer in men. Follow this article to learn 8 of these signs, their causes, and treatments.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the cells of the breast. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it is much more common in women. Male breast cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage because it is not as well known or understood. There are several different types of male breast cancer, and each type can vary in how aggressive it is. The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which starts in the milk ducts.
8 signs of breast cancer in men
Common signs & symptoms of breast cancer in men
The most common sign of breast cancer in men is a lump or mass in the chest area. This may be felt as a hard, painless lump under the nipple, or it may be more diffuse and feel like a thickening of the chest wall. Other common signs and symptoms include:
- – Nipple discharge
- – Breast pain or tenderness
- – Skin changes on the breast, such as redness, scaling, or dimpling
- – nipple inversion (turning inward)
- – A change in the size or shape of the breast
- – Swelling of the lymph nodes under the arm or around the collarbone
- – Bone pain
- – Unexplained weight loss
How to Prevent Breast Cancer
While there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are some things you can do to lower your risk.
- Maintain a healthy weight and eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in saturated and trans fats may help lower your risk of breast cancer.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity has been linked with a lower risk of breast cancer.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than one drink per day.
- Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk of breast cancer.
- Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollutants. Exposure to ionizing radiation, such as that from mammograms, is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer.Limit your exposure to environmental pollutants, such as those found in certain cosmetics, by reading product labels and choosing products that are low in toxins.
Consider taking a low-dose aspirin daily. Some research suggests that taking a low-dose aspirin every day may reduce the risk of breast cancer. However, aspirin can have side effects, so speak with your doctor before starting this or any other medication.
Early Detection & Treatment for Breast Cancer
The earlier male breast cancer is detected, the better the chance of survival. There are several ways to find male breast cancer early. The most important is to have regular screenings.
Regular screenings are the best way to find breast cancer early when it’s most treatable. Screenings can find cancer before it starts causing symptoms. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women at average risk of breast cancer get a mammogram every year starting at age 45. They also recommend that women ages 40 to 44 talk with their doctor about whether to start annual mammograms.
If you’re at a higher-than-average risk of breast cancer, you may need to start getting mammograms before age 45 and/or get them more often than once a year. Your doctor can tell you if you’re at higher than average risk and what screening schedule is right for you.
There are other tests that can be used to find breast cancer, especially in women who are at high risk. These include MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and ultrasound. Your doctor may also recommend genetic testing if you have certain risk factors, such as a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
How a Man Can Help Reduce His Risk of Breast Cancer
Although breast cancer is most commonly diagnosed in women, men can also develop the disease. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 breast cancers are found in men. The good news is that there are steps a man can take to help reduce his risk of developing male breast cancer.
Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity is a risk factor for many types of cancer, including male breast cancer. In fact, studies have shown that men who are obese have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who are of normal weight. Therefore, it is important for men to maintain a healthy weight.
There are several ways to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. One way is to eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is also important to get enough exercise. Exercise helps to burn calories and can help to reduce body fat.
Limit alcohol consumption
Studies have shown that there is a link between alcohol consumption and an increased risk of breast cancer. Therefore, it is important for men to limit their alcohol intake. The American Cancer Society recommends that men consume no more than two alcoholic drinks per day.
Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollutants
Exposure to radiation and environmental pollutants has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Therefore, it is important for men to avoid these exposures whenever possible.
There are several treatment options available for male breast cancer. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. The type of treatment that is best for a man with male breast cancer will depend on the stage of cancer, the size of the tumor, and other factors.
The most common type of surgery for men with breast cancer is a mastectomy. This is a surgery to remove all of the breast tissue. A mastectomy may be done alone or along with other treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy waves to kill cancer cells. It is usually given after surgery to lower the risk that cancer will come back. Radiation therapy may also be used together with chemotherapy before surgery to help shrink a large tumor. Radiotherapy may also be given after chemotherapy if there are still small areas of cancer that can’t be seen on an x-ray or felt during a physical exam.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is often given before surgery to lower the risk that cancer will come back. Chemotherapy may also be given after surgery to help lower the risk that cancer will come back in another area of the body. Chemotherapy may also be used along with radiation therapy before surgery to help shrink a large tumor. It can also be given after radiation therapy if there are still small areas of cancer that can’t be seen on an x-ray or felt during a physical exam.
Hormone therapy uses drugs to stop the body from making the hormones that can cause breast cancer to grow. It is often used along with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Hormone therapy may also be used after these treatments to help lower the risk that cancer will come back.
Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs to target specific genes or proteins that are found in cancer cells. This type of treatment is often used along with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Although breast cancer is most commonly associated with women, it can also affect men. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s important to see a doctor right away for further testing: a lump in the chest area, changes in nipple appearance, discharge from the nipple, pain in the chest area, and/or changes in skin appearance. Early detection is key to successful treatment, so don’t hesitate to get checked out if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.