by Malik Green
Everyday men are constantly being reminded of the dangers of colon, prostate, rectal and lung cancer and the importance of getting check-ups early and often. However, there is another area of the body that cancer attacks in men that is not given enough attention. The area I am talking about is breast cancer.
For the macho men out there, you can refer to it as “chest cancer”, but, no matter what you call it, it is vital that men over 50 be more diligent in checking their breast/chest for lumps. Many men do not realize that men do get breast cancer. This is probably because male breast cancer isn’t talked about or as prevalent as other cancers; however, it can be just as deadly!
The lack of focus given to male breast cancer is due to two things:
- The rarity of the disease in men. Men are diagnosed with breast cancer at less than 1% the rate women are diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Breast cancer primarily affects men 60 years of age and over; however, it can occur much earlier in some men due to variables such as environmental and/or genetic factors.
No one should suffer or die from a preventable illness or disease. This article will hopefully serve as another reminder to men and those who love to learn to be aware of the fact that men can, and do get breast cancer.
The survival rate for men with breast cancer depends on the same variables as women with breast cancer; size and stage of the tumor. The sooner it is diagnosed, the better your chances of survival. There are 5 stages to breast cancer. Disease-specific five-year survival rates (meaning the percentage of patients who do not die of the disease for at least five years following diagnosis) reported for male breast cancer by stage is as follows:
- Stage 0 – 100%
- Stage I – 96%
- Stage II – 88%
- Stage III – 60%
- Stage IV – 23%
These survival rates were calculated using historical data, and it is likely that current treatments will lead to even greater survival rates for those recently diagnosed. http://www.medicinenet.com/male_breast_cancer/page6.htm#what_is_the_outcome_prognosis_of_male_breast_cancer
What Causes Male Breast Cancer?
Radiation and toxic chemical exposure
Exposure to ionizing radiation has been linked with an increased risk of developing male breast cancer.
Hyper-estrogenism (high levels of estrogen)
Under normal circumstances men produce only small amounts of estrogen, which is the primary hormone in females. There is a condition called gynecomastia, the term is used to describe the abnormally high levels of estrogen in men.
Klinefelter’s syndrome is an inherited condition affecting about one in 1,000 men. A normal man has two sex chromosomes (X and Y). He inherited the female X chromosome from his mother and the male Y chromosome from his father. Men with Klinefelter’s syndrome have inherited an extra female X chromosome, resulting in an abnormal sex chromosome makeup of XXY rather than the normal male XY. Affected Klinefelter’s patients produce high levels of estrogen and develop enlarged breasts, sparse facial and body hair, small testes, and the inability to produce sperm.
Things men can do to reduce or eliminate their risk of developing serious breast cancer.
The most common sign of breast cancer in men is a firm, non-painful bump or lump located just below the nipple area. This may be the only symptom or sign of the disease. The average size of breast cancer in men when first discovered is about 2.5 cm in diameter.
The cancer may cause skin changes in the area of the nipple. These changes can include ulceration of the skin, puckering or dimpling, redness or scaling of the nipple, or retraction (turning inward) of the nipple. Bloody or opaque discharge from the nipple may also occur. Less than 1% of cases are bilateral (occurring on both sides).
Just as women are advised to do self-examination of their breast, men are also advised to do likewise. Carefully and thoroughly feel around the nipple area. Any new mass in the breast area of a man needs to be checked out by a physician,”
Avoid working with toxic cleaning products. Cleaning products are among the most significant sources of exposure to toxic chemicals in the home. Although the correlation between certain household cleaners and cancer is still unknown, we all know that toxic chemicals are not good for us, and have proven to cause cancer in humans.
Cleaning companies such as Teresa’s Family Cleaning are acutely aware of the dangers of toxic cleaning solutions. Teresa’s Family Cleaning uses “Green” products to clean their client’s homes. The cleaning products they use have no harmful chemicals or toxins; and clean just as good, if not better than chemical-based cleaning solutions.
Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.
With chemical cleaners you may think that you are wiping away and removing any harmful germs and bacteria, but the fact is, those cleaners leave behind a chemical residue that is potentially dangerous to your family.
Other than consistent self-examination, and getting regular check-ups, there is not much more a man can do to reduce his chances of developing breast cancer. Stay alert, be diligent in your self-examinations and see your doctor regularly.
For more in depth information about breast cancer, you should review the following websites: