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Breast cancer in Men

Picture of male breast cancer initial stage

Picture of male breast
cancer cells

Male breast cancer facts

Chances of Male breast cancer are 1.2% that of women. 500 men die each year in the US compared to 41000 women with breast cancer. According to he latest health news, this accounts for less than 1% of all cancer related deaths. When the body produced unneeded or abnormal cells the resulting masses or lumps are called tumours that can be benign or malignant. If malignant, tumours that are produced in the immunes systems lymph nodes, the cancer can spread to nearby tissues effecting other organs such as lungs and bones. It must be detected early in hospital and removed to avoid spreading. Male breast cancer is called adenocarcinomas for they are created in ducts and lobules. In situ cancers are located in a single place, if it spreads it is an invasive ductal or Lobular carcinoma.

Breast cancer symptoms in men

Cancerous lumps in male breast are different to those cyst found in women called fibroadenoma. The most common form of lump that appear in men's breast happen during adolescent puberty called Gynocomastia, but in medical terms this breast enlargement can happen at any point in a mans life. A lot of breast lumps are not cancerous but the most common symptom of cancer is a thickening or often painless lump in the breast, nipple become very tender, the nipple turns inward, nipples have fluid discharges and rashes appear on the breast skin and nipple area. There might also be skin puckering or dimpling, a nipple indenting or becoming red or scaly or a spontaneous clear. If any pain or abnormal growth should appear, get a doctor or physician to check it out.
Diagnosis methods for male breast cancer

You need a physician to examine the lump or tumour, this can be done at the hospital or clinic. The American Cancer society  studies show that men get diagnosed on average 5 years later than women. The diagnostic method will be a visual one first using mammograms or low yield X-ray images of the tumour or abnormal growth area. Additional testing uses high frequency sound in the form of ultrasound imaging. The final step is the use of MRI, PET or CAT scan imaging to diagnose the cancerous cells and lumps. If imaging techniques fail, a a sample of the tumour or lump will be surgically removed and tested, this is a biopsy. A pathologist will analyse the sample under microscope. In the case of malignant tumour cells a Bone scan is done to detect metastasis, the spread of the cancer to other organs and bones. Finally blood tests, enzyme tests and tumour markers are used to determine the exact size position and nature of the tumour before treatment via surgical removal or chemotherapy.

Causes of male breast cancer

It is normally unclear what triggers abnormal cell growth in male breast tissue but doctors are aware that up to ten percent of breast cancers are inherited. If you have defects in breast cancer gene 1 or 2 (BRCA 1 or BRCA 2) you have a bigger risk of developing breast cancer. Other inherited genes might also increase your risk. It is useful to know your family history so you can be aware how likely you are to inherit an abnormal gene.
Most of the genetic mutations which are related to breast cancer are not inherited but they develop during your lifetime. Radiation exposure (for example, having chest radiation therapy in childhood) can cause mutation in later life but cannot be passed to the next generation. Other causes of male breast cancer can include Klinefelter's syndrome, mumps, testicular injuries and consumption of hormones. Cirrhosis of the liver and Cowden disease can also be influencing factors
Treatment of breast cancer in men

A number of factors will determine the course of male breast cancer treatment. The age and health of a the patient. The development and size of he tumour, whether it as metastasised or not. The stage of the tumour and the opinion of doctors surgeons and physicians.

The treatment and removal options for male breast cancer include:

  • Lumpectomy which is a breast preservation surgery or partial mastectomy that is followed by radiation treatments to preserve as much of the breast as possible

  • Mastectomy or radical Mastectomy which removes the breast all together. the radical version of this surgical procedures also removes the chest muscles and the lymph nodes under the armpits.

  • Chemotherapy and Radiation therapies that target the tumour site using drugs and high energy radiation. This treatment is used for most forms of cancer such as lung cancer, prostate cancer, etc

  • Estrogen hormone therapy used for certain cancers that test positive for progesterone receptor and oestrogen.

  • Biological treatments that bolster the weakened immune system. HER2/neu  protein is used as an oncogene that binds on the external membrane of affecting the receptors of the tumour cells.

There is treatment available for every stage of breast cancer. Some men might only need surgery. Others could need radiation, chemotherapy or hormone therapy in addition.

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