Breast cancer, contrary to popular belief, can occur in men too. Almost 98% of breast cancer diagnosis occurs in ladies. While male breast cancer is rare, it has been on the rise in the recent years, and it is just as fatal. It is because of its infrequence that not much is known about it, and not much study has been done as compared to breast cancer in women.

Perhaps the stark difference between male breast cancer and breast cancer in women is that it mostly occurs in older men. The average age of men who are diagnosed with breast cancer is 65.

Breast cancer in men often attacks the lymph nodes, making is harder to treat. Just like breast cancer in women, early detection improves the chances of recovery. The problem with this is, there aren’t standardized methods of detecting breast cancer in men.  A mammogram, for instance, requires breast tissue, which some men may not have enough of. Factors such as weight, estrogen exposure and genetics put men at more risk of contacting male breast cancer.

When to see a doctor

You should see a doctor when you notice the following:

  • Changes in the size and shape of the breast
  • A painless lump in the breast, armpit or area surrounding the breast
  • Changes in the appearance of the nipple, such as an inverted nipple
  • A sore on the breast
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Unexplained changes in the skin around the breast that might include redness and dimpling
  • Itchiness and rashes around the breast

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