The month of October is observed as breast cancer awareness month. It started on October 1 and will end on October 31. The month is all about spreading awareness about the early detection of the cancer and how to further prevent it.
According to WHO, there are about 1.38 million new cases and 4,58,000 deaths from breast cancer each year (IARC Globocan, 2008). Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide. While certain causes of breast cancer include those that cannot be controlled – such as age, gender, history of the disease in the family genetics, etc, certain mistakes can increase the risk of the disease, or cause complications due to it.
Lack of awareness and absence of organized nationwide population-based breast cancer screening programme are the main reasons accounting for late presentation.
Well, breast cancer is not only confined to women. Men can also fall prey to the disease. In fact, 1 % of all breast cancers detected occur in men. The breasts of an adult man are similar to the breasts of a girl before puberty. In girls, this tissue grows and develops, but in men, it doesn’t.
But because it is still breast tissue, men can get breast cancer. Men get the same types of breast cancers that women do, but cancers involving the parts that make and store milk are rare.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer in men:
Signs and symptoms of male breast cancer can include:
- A painless lump or thickening in your breast tissue
- Changes to the skin covering your breasts, such as dimpling, puckering, redness, or scaling
- Changes to your nipple, such as redness or scaling, or a nipple that begins to turn inward
- Discharge from your nipple
Causes of Breast Cancer in men:
According to experts, male breast cancer occurs when some breast cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do. The accumulating cells form a tumor that may spread (metastasize) to nearby tissue, to the lymph nodes, or other parts of the body.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
The same techniques that are used to diagnose breast cancer in women are used in men: physical exams, mammography, and biopsies (examining small samples of tissue under a microscope).