How Do You Know If You Have Breast Cancer In Men
Symptoms. Symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those in women. Most male breast cancers are diagnosed when a man finds a lump on his chest. But men tend to delay going to the doctor until they have more severe symptoms, like bleeding from the nipple. By that point, the cancer may have spread.
Treatment Brings A New Normal
Roark, who retired last June from Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way, found chemotherapy unexpectedly enervating. It didnÃ¢t feel too bad at first, but soon Ã¢IÃ¢d come home and I didnÃ¢t want to move.Ã¢
His girlfriend, Deb, provided plenty of nurturing during his surgery, radiation and the chemotherapy that zapped his hair.
He went back to work part time the first June after his diagnosis, without hair and with little energy. In retrospect, he said, he took on too much. In 2015, one year after his chemotherapy ended, Roark struggled with pins and needles in his feet unfortunately, the treatment for his neuropathy leaves him foggy-headed and endlessly sleepy.
Del Gardo remembers that treatment was such a whirlwind he hardly had time to digest the knowledge that he had breast cancer. Chemotherapy sapped his strength and decimated his once thick, lustrous hair .
Ã¢It took months for me to embrace the baldness,Ã¢ Del Gardo said. Ã¢I felt like a different person.Ã¢
He also encountered side effects from hormonal therapy that he never expected, like hot flashes and joint pain. The whole ordeal left him weak Ã¢ too weak to fight when his employer let him go midway through treatment. After struggling for 10 minutes to open a Gatorade bottle for his son, Del Gardo has returned to the gym to rebuild his strength.
Del Gardo is less sanguine: Ã¢People are visual creatures. What women want to date a guy with no nipples?Ã¢
Male Breast Cancer Fact: Your Family History Male Or Female Can Put You More At Risk
A family history of breast cancermale or femaleputs you at a higher risk than the average dude. According to the American Cancer Society, about one in five men with breast cancer have a close relative who’s also had breast cancer.
In many cases, thats due to inheriting a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Youve probably heard it linked to breast cancer when Angelina Jolie revealed she had it, but it can also put men at risk, too.
While not all breast cancer in men is caused by BRCA gene mutations, it puts you at a significantly higher risk. If you have the BRCA2 gene mutation, your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer jumps to about six in 100. If you have a BRCA1 mutation, the risk is about one in 100, according to the ACS. BRCA mutations also increase the risk for other cancers, including prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Related:Should You Get the PSA Test to Screen For Prostate Cancer?
So if one of your direct relatives has the gene mutationparents have about a 50 percent chance of passing it onto childrenor you have a strong family history of breast cancer, genetic testing may be a smart move to understand your risk so you can watch for any possible cancer-signaling breast changes, says Dr. Giordano.
Read Also: Breast Cancer Sign And Symptoms
How Is Breast Cancer In Men Treated
The main treatment for male breast cancer is surgery. The most common surgery is a mastectomy. This means removing the breast tissue and the nipple. Sometimes lymph nodes under the arm, the lining over the chest muscles, and even part of the chest wall muscles under the breast are also removed.
Other treatments that may be used after surgery include:
What Is Yale Medicines Approach To Detecting And Treating Breast Cancer In Men
Our radiologists are uniquely qualified to diagnose even the rarest forms of breast cancer, including male breast cancerearly and accurately. Our radiologists who subspecialize in breast imaging are among the most highly skilled leaders in the field. They are nationally and internationally recognized for their skill in diagnosing breast cancer. Additionally, our radiologists conduct research on 3D mammography and dense breast imaging, which is advancing the field of radiology.
A man with a breast-related complaint will be scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound within a few days, Dr. Andrejeva-Wright says. If a suspicious mass is seen, then a needle biopsy is scheduled soon after. If a diagnosis of breast cancer is made, our intake specialists coordinate all necessary appointments with the patient as soon as possible, so that treatment can begin quickly.
Recommended Reading: Do You Lose Your Hair With Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What treatments do I need?
- How will cancer treatment affect my daily life?
- Should I participate in clinical trials?
- What is the outlook of my breast cancer?
- If Im at high risk of breast cancer, should I see a genetic counselor?
- What is the chance of my cancer returning, and what are the signs or symptoms?
Information Booklet For Men
If you would like to know more about breast cancer in men, read BCNA’s Men get breast cancer too booklet. It provides information specifically for men, including treatments, coping strategies and common challenges that men face after a diagnosis. The booklet also mentions other resources and counselling services that are available to you. The booklet was developed with input from men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer as well as their family members, health professionals and researchers.
You May Like: Can Breast Cancer Cause Blood In Urine
How Is Breast Cancer Similar In Both Men And Women
Both men and women may have breast cancer cells in the lymph nodes. The patterns of the spread of cancer are similar. The staging system for male breast cancer is the same as the staging system for female breast cancer. Breast cancer in both men and women are assessed in the same way to determine the prognosis. This includes the size of the lesion and whether or not lymph nodes have cancer cells. These factors affect the choice and outcome of treatment. Overall survival rates are similar in both men and women with breast cancer. Although male breast cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage.
Can Men Really Get Breast Cancer
A lot of people might think of breast cancer as only a womans disease, but that isnt accurate.
Men can actually get breast cancer, too. However, its rarer for a man to get it than it is for a woman. And while male breast cancer can develop at any age, it is more common in older men.
As with most types of cancer, early detection and treatment typically increases the chance for a positive outcome.
Recommended Reading: How Likely Is Breast Cancer To Come Back
Can You Get Life Insurance With Breast Cancer
financial soundness of the insurance you are contemplating.
When contemplating coverage, fully grasp the life insurance companys rules and processes. Make a point of clarifying anything that is unclear to you.
Inquire about pre-existing conditions and any potential waiting periods.
Check your application for faults thoroughly. Any erroneous information that constitutes a major misrepresentation may result in the rejection of benefits or the cancellation of your insurance.
You May Also Like
RELATED: 4 Massages You Need To Try As A Breast Cancer Survivor
The following advice may further assist you in obtaining life insurance after breast cancer:
The main point is that obtaining life insurance as a breast cancer survivor is not tricky. There are several life insurance firms available today that can assist you in selecting the best sort of life insurance coverage for your specific requirements.
Personal Stories From Men With Breast Cancer
While 144 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, it can be isolating being diagnosed with what is considered a ‘women’s cancer’. It may help to read stories from other men with breast cancer to know you are not alone. Read stories from men with breast cancer, or connect with other men in a similar situation on BCNA’s online network.
You May Like: Chances Of Breast Cancer Recurrence
Does Sugar Feed Breast Cancer
Sugar doesnt directly cause breast cancer, or any type of cancer for that matter. However, excess energy intake, particularly from processed sugars which contain no significant nutritional value, can cause weight gain and can lead to obesity. Obesity increases the risk of various cancers, including breast cancer.
Sex Life And Fertility
Breast cancer treatments can have a direct effect on your sex life and ability to have children . Talk to your doctor or breast care nurse, there are often things that can help.
You may have a loss of sex drive and erection difficulties . This often improves after treatment, but it may take longer or become permanent. If you have a partner, it is important to talk to them. You may both need some time to adjust.
Some treatments can reduce the number of sperm you produce or make you infertile. It may be possible to store sperm before treatment begins. Fertility and sexual issues can hard to cope with. You may find it helpful to talk through your feelings with your doctor, breast care nurse, or a trained counsellor.
It is important to use effective contraception while having chemotherapy and for some time afterwards. Chemotherapy drugs in a mans sperm may harm a developing baby.
You May Like: Can Men Get Breast Cancer
Diagnosing Breast Cancer In Men
If you have symptoms of breast cancer, such as a hard, painless lump in one of your breasts, your GP will carefully examine you.
During the examination, they’ll also look for other possible signs of male breast cancer, such as swollen lymph nodes .
It’s likely your GP will refer you for further tests if there’s a possibility you may have breast cancer.
What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer In Men
The following are the risk factors for breast cancer in men:
- As age increases, there is an increased risk of breast cancer
- Genetic mutation in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes may increase the risk of breast cancer
- Men who had radiation therapy for their chest are at a high risk of breast cancer.
- Any history of hormone replacement therapy or drugs containing estrogen used to treat prostate cancer may increase the risk of breast cancer in men.
- A rare genetic condition called Klinefelter syndrome, where the individual has one extra X chromosome. It results in excess production of estrogen and low production of androgens .
- Cirrhosis of the liver leads to decreased androgen production, which may increase the risk of breast cancer in men.
- TX:Primary tumor cannot be assessed
- T0: There is no evidence of a tumor
- Tis: Carcinoma in situ
- T1: The size of the tumor is 2 cm or less than 2 cm
- T2: The size of the tumor is more than 2 cm but not more than 5 cm
- T3: The size of the tumor is more than 5 cm
- T4: The tumor grows into the chest wall or the adjacent tissues.
N categories for breast cancer
In the N category, N followed by a number indicates cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or the number of lymph nodes involved. Lymph node staging is based on how the lymph nodes look under a microscope.
N categories for breast cancer include the following:
M categories for breast cancer
Recommended Reading: Can Breast Cancer Lead To Ovarian Cancer
How Is Male Breast Cancer Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your breast tissue, paying close attention to any lumps or abnormalities. Your provider may take a sample of your blood and send it to a lab.
To look for cancer cells in breast tissue, your provider may do a biopsy. Using a thin needle, your provider removes a sample of the breast tissue and sends it to a lab. The lab tests the tissue for cancer cells.
To see pictures of your breast tissue, your provider may order imaging studies. These include:
- Mammogram: A mammogram is an X-ray of breast tissue.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to see images of soft tissues.
- MRI: An MRI produces images of breast tissue using a high-powered magnet and radio waves.
Do Underwire Bras Cause Breast Cancer
Underwire bras do not increase your risk of breast cancer.
There have been some concerns that the wires in the cup of underwire bras may restrict the flow of lymph fluid in the breast causing toxins to build up in the area. However, theres no reliable evidence to support this.
If your bra is too tight or too small, the wires can dig into your breasts and cause discomfort, pain or swelling. Find out more about wearing a well-fitting bra.
You May Like: Can Breast Cancer Spread To Lungs
Why Does The Myth Exist
Although men can develop breast cancer too, it is still relatively rare and women are at a far greater risk. In fact, the American Cancer Society says, Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. Why is this? Nobody is entirely sure, although a common theory is that simply by having more breast tissue, women have a greater mass in which to develop cancerous cells so are inevitably at higher risk. Women also tend to have much higher levels of estrogenA female sex hormone that is primarily produced by the ovaries. Its primary function is to regulate the menstrual cycle and assist in the production of secondary sex characteristics such as breasts. It may even play a role in the production of cancer cells in the breast tissue. which could well be a contributory factor.
Unfortunately, because breast cancer in men is not common, studies into it are also infrequent. Until this area of research develops further it is unlikely that we will get a more accurate answer to why men are less susceptibleThe state or fact of being likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing. to breast cancer than women.
Post updated on May 14, 2020.
You May Like: How Curable Is Breast Cancer
How Breast Cancer Spreads
Breast cancer can spread when the cancer cells get into the blood or lymph system and are carried to other parts of the body.
The lymph system is a network of lymph vessels found throughout the body. The lymph vessels carry lymph fluid and connect lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped collections of immune system cells. Lymph vessels are like small veins, except that they carry a clear fluid called lymph away from the breast. Lymph contains tissue fluid and waste products, as well as immune system cells. Breast cancer cells can enter lymph vessels and start to grow in lymph nodes. Most of the lymph vessels of the breast drain into:
- Lymph nodes under the arm
- Lymph nodes around the collar bone
- Lymph nodes inside the chest near the breast bone
If the cancer cells have spread to your lymph nodes, there is a higher chance that the cells could have also traveled through the lymph system and spread to other parts of your body. The more lymph nodes with breast cancer cells, the more likely it is that the cancer may be found in other organs. Because of this, finding cancer in one or more lymph nodes often affects your treatment plan. Usually, surgery to remove one or more lymph nodes will be needed to know whether the cancer has spread.
Still, not all men with cancer cells in their lymph nodes develop metastases to other areas, and some men can have no cancer cells in their lymph nodes and later develop metastases.
You May Like: Do You Get Chemo For Breast Cancer
A Family History Of Breast Cancer And Other Factors Can Increase A Man’s Risk Of Breast Cancer
Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer not having risk factors doesnt mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors for breast cancer in men may include the following:
- Treatment with radiation therapy to your breast/chest.
- Having a disease linked to high levels ofestrogen in the body, such ascirrhosis or Klinefelter syndrome .
- Having one or more female relatives who have had breast cancer.
- Having mutations in genes such as BRCA2.
Does Alcohol Cause Breast Cancer
Breast cancer: Drinking even small amounts of alcohol is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. Alcohol can raise estrogen levels in the body, which may explain some of the increased risk. Avoiding or cutting back on alcohol may be an important way for many women to lower their risk of breast cancer.
Don’t Miss: Walnuts And Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer
Paget Disease Of The Nipple
This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the nipple. It may also spread to the areola . The skin of the nipple usually appears crusted, scaly, and red, with areas of itching, oozing, burning, or bleeding. There may also be an underlying lump in the breast.
Paget disease may be associated with DCIS or with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It is rare and accounts for about 1-3% of female breast cancers and a higher percentage of male breast cancers.