Male Breast Cancer
- 6 Months ago
Breast cancer is often thought of as a condition that affects only women, but even men can develop it. Though this condition is most common in older men, it can occur at any age. Doctors are unclear about what exactly causes male breast cancer; they only know that this occurs when some breast cells begin growing abnormally and divide rapidly. The factors known to increase one's chances of developing breast cancer include: • Having a family history of breast cancer (male or female) • Age- In most cases, this affects men over 60 years of age • Obesity- BMI over 30 or more • Radiation exposure (radiation treatments) • Liver disease such as Cirrhosis in which male hormones may be reduced and female hormones may be increased • Exposure to estrogen such as estrogen related drugs, used as part of a sex change procedure. These drugs may also be used in hormone therapy for prostate cancer. • Klinefelter's syndrome causes abnormal development of testicles. As a result, men with this syndrome produce more female hormones and lower levels of male hormones. We're all born with a small amount of breast tissue and this tissue is made up of milk producing glands and ducts that carry milk to the nipples. While women begin developing this tissue during puberty, men do not. Because men are born with a small amount of this breast tissue, they can develop breast cancer. The types of breast cancer diagnosed in men include: Cancer That Spreads to the Nipple: Breast cancer can be formed in the milk ducts and spread to the nipples, causing scaly skin around the nipple. This is called Paget's disease of the nipple. Cancer That Begins in the Milk Producing Glands: Lobular carcinoma is quite rare in men because men have few lobules in their breast tissue. Cancer That Begins in the Milk Ducts: Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of male breast cancer and nearly all male breast cancers begin in the milk ducts. Please talk to your doctor if you feel a lump in your breast or if you have problems affecting the nipples such as discharge. While these symptoms are unlikely to be caused by breast cancer, they should never be ignored.