TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE ON THE PREVENTION OF MALE BREAST CANCER
- It is rare
- It is incurable
Statistics show that breast cancer is 100 times less common in men than in women. It represents only 1% of all diagnosed breast cancer cases. It also appears late in life, usually between 60-70 years of age
- A family history of breast cancer
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- All of the options
All the options mentioned increase breast cancer risk in men
- Fibrocystic disease
Gynecomastia is the most common benign breast change in men. It results from hormonal misbalances, which are common in adolescence but also among older men. Men with gynecomastia show a palpable and visible growth with the shape of a disk or a button under the nipple and areola.
The male breast has so little mammary tissue that the malignant changes progress very fast to the nipple, skin, muscle and lymphatic system. Cancer metastases can then appear relatively rapidly. As a result, promptness in the detection and treatment of the male breast cancer is crucial, and any noticed change should be reported to your doctor immediately. However, the lack of breast tissue can also be an advantage: any breast nodule will be quickly detected by simple palpation since there is not enough tissue to hide it.
- A single new painless nodule
- Nipple inversion (facing inside the breast)
- Nipple discharge
- All of the previous options
All options describe possible signs of breast cancer in men (and women). However, only your doctor can determine the exact reason for these changes. For example, they could be the result of a hormonal imbalance.
The techniques used to diagnose breast cancer in men are very much the same as those used for women: physical exam, mammogram and biopsy. The treatments are also similar for both genders - surgery, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy
As with women, men can also have hereditary breast cancer. Normally their risk of disease is about 0.1%, a value much lower than the 11.1% for women. However, some mutations– in particular those in the BRCA genes - can drastically increase this risk, such as those in the BRCA2 gene that increases it to 5-10%. Therefore, a man with a strong family history of the disease, might ask to see a genetic specialist to assure that he does not have a hereditary syndrome that could be passed to his children.
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