We usually think of breast cancer as a female disease, and information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer are also usually with regard to the cancer in women. However about 1% of all cases of breast cancer are in male and nearly 2000 cases of male breast cancer could be diagnosed each year. According to estimates, approximately 390 men die of breast cancer each year.
Breast cancer in men could occur at any age, but this condition is most commonly seen among men aged between 60 and 70. Many of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those experienced by women.
However men could ignore or overlook these signs, not correlating them with breast cancer since most men never expect to get what they think of as a woman’s disease. Very often men ignore their symptoms or may be embarrassed to report them to their doctor.
Male breast cancer is doubly dangerous because most men do not expect it, and this is the reason why there is a particular need for awareness of this disease to be raised.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer in Men
Lump or abnormality: A firm mass or lump is usually the first sign of breast cancer, regardless of whether it is male or female breast cancer. Men may feel a firm, painless mass below the nipple; very rarely the mass or lump could be felt on both sides.
Such a lump or mass is more frequently found in the left breast rather than the right.
Nipple changes: Inversion or retraction of the nipple is another symptom to look out for. Any ulceration, tenderness or adhesion to underlying tissue may also be present. In almost half the cases of male breast cancer, the nipple is usually involved. This is because of the fact that there is very little other breast mass present and the tumor is usually of a central location.
Unlike signs and symptoms of breast cancer in women, there is very rarely any kind of nipple discharge, bloody or otherwise, present in male breast cancer.
Other abnormalities: Any puckering or dimpling of the skin of the male breast shouldn’t be ignored. Redness, scaling or other changes in the breast tissue such as warmth to the touch or feelings of tenderness could also be warning signs of something being wrong.
What may not be signs and symptoms of breast cancer in men
Like women a majority of lumps and masses may be benign and may be nothing to worry about. In particularly conditions such as gynecomastia which causes abnormal growth of breast tissue in men tend to increase chances of men detecting such masses or lumps. In most cases these lumps are harmless, but it is best to have them checked out.
Like women, if any signs and symptoms of breast cancer are found in men, they should be investigated at the earliest. Also men who have a history of breast cancer in their family and who have certain unusual hormone levels are known to be at greater risk and should be more vigilant.
If you feel you may have signs of cancer it is always worth getting it checked out at the hospital. You can find private hospitals in manchester with Privatehealth.co.uk