Breast cancer is often associated with women, but did you know that men can also develop this disease? Although rare, breast cancer can affect men of any age, ethnicity, or background. It’s essential for men to understand the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and take preventive measures to reduce their risk.

Breast cancer in men: the facts

Breast cancer is much less common in men than in women, accounting for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases. However, men have breast tissue, which means they can develop breast cancer just like women.

Breast cancer in men is typically detected in later stages, making treatment more challenging. This is partly because men are less likely to be aware of the symptoms of breast cancer or to check their breasts regularly.

Symptoms of breast cancer in men

The symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those in women and include:

  • A lump or thickening in the breast tissue
  • Nipple discharge, often bloody
  • Nipple retraction or inversion
  • Redness or scaling of the skin on the breast or nipple
  • Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm
  • Reducing the risk of breast cancer in men

There are several ways that men can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer, including:

  • Regular self-exams: Men should check their breasts regularly for any lumps, changes, or abnormalities. If you notice anything unusual, see your doctor right away.
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding smoking can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Genetic testing: Men with a family history of breast cancer may be at increased risk of developing the disease. Genetic testing can help to identify those at higher risk, allowing for early detection and treatment.
  • Medical screening: Men with a higher risk of breast cancer may need more frequent medical screenings, such as mammograms or breast ultrasounds.

Breast cancer is a serious disease that affects both men and women. By understanding the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and taking preventive measures, men can reduce their risk of developing this disease and increase their chances of successful treatment.

American Cancer Society. (2021). Breast Cancer in Men.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Male Breast Cancer.

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