Did you know that the breast facts for men are that about 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018 compared to 2470 in 2017? Breast cancer risk is much lower in men than in women. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000 or about 1%.
While breast cancer may not be as prevalent, we do know that men still need to be aware of their breast health and wellness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common cancers among men (100,000 of all races and origins in the U.S.) are prostate cancer (95.5), lung cancer (68.1), and colorectal cancer (44.0). The leading causes of cancer death among men are lung cancer (52.0), prostate cancer (19.1), colorectal cancer (16.9), and liver cancer (9.5).
For men in the United States, rates of breast cancer incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) are much lower among men than among women. The fact is, men do have breast tissue. Although rare, they can get breast cancer. In the U.S., more than 2,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in men and more than 400 men will die from breast cancer each year. Men at any age may develop breast cancer, but it is usually detected (found) in men between 60 and 70 years of age. Male breast cancer makes up less than 1% of all cases of breast cancer. 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 intra-ductal 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.
Lobular carcinoma in situ (abnormal cells found in one of the lobes or sections of the breast), which sometimes occurs in women, has not been seen in men.
If you are a man who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, are in need of surgical treatment, or may be in need of breast reduction surgery (gynecomastia), there are new undergarments available. The Joe & Arrow Men’s Vests will provide post-op compression and hide under your dress shirt or casual t-shirts. One style is strapless and the other is over the shoulder – both providing the same form of compression and hold your removable drain on either side if needed. Crisscross Medical Pouches are available for purchase too. Feel Confident, Look Handsome!
If you are among this select group of men, how would you know, you might ask? Men should perform monthly self-breast exams just like women do. Although this is not as common a disease for men, a dense breast may not be the norm or ‘muscle’. Do consult with your physician for any small lump or cyst you may feel. Should you have nipple discharge, discoloration, deformation or other sensations, also consult your physician.
Oftentimes, men tend to ignore these symptoms and their diagnosis is caught very late in the process, such as with prostate cancer patients. We know we live through uncomfortable times having these discussions, but self-awareness may save your life. Isn’t that worth the effort?
So, this June, during National Men’s Health Month, we ask you to be aware and to perform a self-breast exam, and for all Dads to enjoy their special Father’s Day, too!
We wish you all the breast!
All images are courtesy of Jean Criss.