Breast cancer symptoms

Cindy Zimmerman

Symptoms of breast cancer

How can a person tell if they are suffering from breast cancer men symptoms? This is not a very heard of or spoken about disease. Most breast cancer awareness is focused on women but men suffer from this disease as well. The reason for the discussion of breast cancer in men not being talked about as much is because male breast cancer only makes up about 1% of all the different types of breast cancers. Men are typically diagnosed between the ages of 60 and 70.

The type of breast cancer that men typically have is called Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma. This cancer has moved from the cells that are lining the ducts in the breast. There are other types of breast cancers found in men, but this is the most common one. Now, you may be wondering why the word breast keeps coming up because men do not have breasts. Actually, men have a small amount of breast tissue that is actually similar to the chest of a pre-pubescent girl. There are ducts that are surrounded by tissue and the breasts. The reason why men do not develop breasts like women do is because women develop the tissue when they hit puberty. At puberty, females hormones are contributing to the way women’s breasts grow and men do not have the same amount of these hormones so they do not develop the tissue. Due to men still having the breast tissue, they can have breast cancer. Knowing this, it is important to be able to identify breast cancer men symptoms.

The main problem with male breast cancer is that it is not identified early enough so breast cancer men symptoms tend to be more severe by the time they seek medical attention. The amount of breast tissue in men is much smaller so it is harder to feel the lumps. Due to the lumps not being able to be felt, it gives the tumors a chance to spread across the surrounding tissue. Most are diagnosed after a lump is found in the chest, there is bleeding from the nipple or the skin above the cancer has changed in an abnormal way. If the symptoms are more severe, chances are the cancer has advanced and spread into the lymph nodes. At this point, techniques will be used in order to diagnose and treat the disease. Physical exams, biopsies and mammograms will be administered to confirm the diagnosis and consider the best treatment. symptoms of breast cancer in women

Now that you know that waiting for breast cancer men symptoms to appear is not the best idea, steps can be taken to catch the disease early. Look into your family history and see if there is a close female family member that had/has breast cancer. This is one risk factor. Another is if your chest has been exposed to radiation. If you have had an abnormal enlargement of the breasts from drugs, hormones, poisons or infections; your chances are increased drastically. The abnormal enlargement of the breasts in men is called gynecomastia. Also, men with lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of estrogen from diseases such as severe liver disease have a higher risk for breast cancer. Lastly, any abnormalities with the testicles can increase your chances as well. For example, having a testicular injury, disease of a testicle or an undescended testicle are all risk factors.

So you found a lump. What happens next? Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormones will be used to treat the breast cancer. Men respond significantly better than women do to the hormonal treatment. The cancer cells have hormone receptors that estrogen can act on and because men are more likely to have these receptors, hormonal treatment has a much more effective response. Women already have a high amount of estrogen so hormonal treatment with estrogen will not produce the same results breast cancer symptoms and signs. Men have to start screening themselves at an earlier age in order to have a better chance at survival against breast cancer.