There’s a widespread opinion that breast cancer only affects women. However, it’s not a gender-specific condition.
You actually have a 0.1% chance of getting the condition. This leads to about 480 deaths every year.
Here are some things that you need to know about breast cancer in men.
1. It Usually Starts With a Lump
In the majority of cases, the first symptom you’ll spot is a lump in your chest. Known as a breast mass, it’s usually found behind your nipple.
However, it can be anywhere on your chest. Check regularly for lumps and examine your armpits too. Breast cancer can enlarge the lymph nodes in that area.
2. Genetics May Play a Role
Up to 10% of breast cancers may be hereditary. Usually, this is the result of abnormalities in the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene.
If you have a family member who’s had breast cancer, you’re more at risk of developing it. The possibility jumps from 0.1% to between 1% and 7%.
3. It’s Easily Confused With Other Conditions
Have you heard of gynecomastia? It’s the development of additional breast tissue, which some people crudely refer to as “man boobs.”
Gynecomastia creates additional mass in the breast, much like breast cancer. Always get checked to ensure the development isn’t more serious.
4. Treatment is the Same Across Genders
Each cancer case is different. However, the screening and treatment processes for breast cancer are the same for men and women. You’ll undergo a mammogram and an ultrasound to check for the condition.
Surgery usually follows, with chemotherapy coming later if needed.
5. Estrogen is a Problem
Any health conditions that increase estrogen heighten the risk of breast cancer in men.
Both liver disease and obesity create more estrogen in the body.
Breast cancer in men is a serious issue and is just as deadly as the female equivalent.
Speak to a doctor immediately if you notice any lumps on your chest. Catching the condition early improves your chances of survival.