Can Men Get Breast Can­cer?

Wellness Update - - Health Watch MD -

When is the last time your hus­band per­formed a breast exam on him­self? What about your fa­ther or even your son? Most likely it hasn’t been re­cently, prob­a­bly not fre­quently, and in fact he may have never per­formed an exam more than once in his life. Even though men do not have breasts like women, they do have a small amount of breast tis­sue and can de­velop breast can­cer. Breast can­cer in men ac­counts for only about one per­cent of all breast can­cers. This is pos­si­bly due to their smaller amount of breast tis­sue and the fact that men pro­duce smaller amounts of hor­mones such as es­tro­gen that are known to af­fect breast can­cers in women. A lower per­cent­age does not mean that men who de­velop breast can­cer have a bet­ter, more treat­able or more pos­i­tive out­come. Doc­tors used to think that breast can­cer in men was a more se­vere dis­ease than in women, but it now seems that for com­pa­ra­bly ad­vance breast can­cers, men and women have sim­i­lar out­comes. Un­for­tu­nately, breast can­cer in men is of­ten di­ag­nosed later than breast can­cer in women, pos­si­bly be­cause men are less likely to be sus­pi­cious of an ab­nor­mal­ity in their breast area.

The clear­est risks for de­vel­op­ing breast can­cer in men are:

* Men who have had an ab­nor­mal en­large­ment

of their breasts (called gy­neco­mas­tia) * Drug or hor­mone treat­ments that cause the breasts to enlarge In­fec­tions or con­tact with cer­tain poi­sons * Obe­sity * In­di­vid­u­als with Kline­fel­ter’s

syn­drome, a rare ge­netic dis­ease Re­mind your fa­ther, hus­band or son about do­ing a reg­u­lar breast exam. The con­ver­sa­tion may be un­com­fort­able at first, but it’s a con­ver­sa­tion that just might save their life. -This in­for­ma­tion pro­vided courtesy of Cleve­land Clinic Health Hub

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