Cancer still claims more lives globally with the World health Organization (WHO) estimating annual morbidity and mortality at 14 million and 8.2 million respectively. This prevalence is more in developing countries due to poor economy and less awareness. WHO also states that about 52100 deaths occur due to breast cancer annually. Most of it is associated with women. But the figures still include men who die due to breast cancer, though minimum. Therefore, more must be done to make men aware that they are also culprits.
According to the American Cancer Foundation, breast cancer in men is 100 times less common than in women. Females develop breasts faster than men especially during puberty, due to high levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. Men have these hormones too, but in little amounts. The less breast tissue in men account for minimal cancer risks, although other factors can also contribute. Since men also have breast tissue, they are prone to breast cancer.
Risk factors for breast cancer in men include age (above 60 years), history of cancer in the family, Klinfelter’s syndrome ( Genetic condition related to high estrogen levels in the body), chronic liver disorders, heavy alcohol use obesity, exposure to large amounts of radiation early in life and gynecomastia (Enlargement of breasts in men).
If you are a man, you may look out for the following symptoms:
Painless, tender lump, hardening or thickening in breast.
Dimpling, puckering or redness of the breast skin.
Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.
Inverted nipple or other parts of the breast.
Many men will feel embarrassed when they have these symptoms. Others will ignore due to lack of knowledge that they can get breast cancer. This delays diagnosis and treatment. Survival rates are similar in both men and women if found at the same stage. This also makes it easier for cancer to spread to neighboring lymph nodes. Survival is high if diagnosed early. Men, Be Ware!!