Breast Cancer in Men

Once thought to be exclusive to women, breast cancer can now be found in men as well. And though the Philippines has the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in Asia, breast cancer in men still accounts for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases in the country.

What is Male Breast Cancer?
Male breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Men at any age may develop the disease but it is usually detected in men between 60 and 70 years of age. This is because many men delay seeing their doctors even upon noticing unusual signs or symptoms. Hence, by the time they do see a doctor and it’s diagnosed, it’s usually in the late stage. Like in women, the key to surviving breast cancer is early detection and treatment. The earlier a man is diagnosed with male breast cancer, the higher his chances are for survival.

The following types of breast cancer are found in men:

  • Infiltrating ductal carcinoma: Cancer that has spread beyond the cells lining ducts in the breast. Most men with breast cancer have this type of cancer.
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ: Abnormal cells that are found in the lining of a duct; also called intraductal carcinoma.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer: A type of cancer in which the breast looks red and swollen and feels warm.
  • Paget disease of the nipple: A tumor that has grown from ducts beneath the nipple onto the surface of the nipple.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of male breast cancer can include:

  • A painless lump or thickening in the breast tissue
  • Changes to the skin covering your breast, such as dimpling, puckering, redness or scaling
  • Changes to your nipple, such as redness, scaling or a nipple that turns inward
  • Discharge from your nipple

Risk Factors

The following factors have been found to increase the risk of male breast cancer:

  • Older age
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • High levels of estrogen (taking in drugs containing estrogen)
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Klinefelter Syndrome (A genetic syndrome wherein a boy is born with more than one copy of the X chromosome)
  • Liver disease
  • Obesity
  • Radiation exposure

Get Tested

If breast cancer is suspected, your doctor may conduct a number of diagnostic tests and procedures such as:

  • Clinical breast exam
  • Mammogram
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Testing nipple discharge for cancer cells
  • Using a needle to remove cells for testing

A screening mammogram and breast ultrasound are available at Healthway Medical, the largest network of mall clinics in the country. Get screened today so you can avoid the dangers of breast cancer.

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