Over the past three decades, the chances of occurrence of male breast cancer have increased significantly. There are studies which show that the male breast cancer can occur in men between the ages of 5 to 93. If it diagnosed in the early stages, the chances of survival are 100%. The survival rate is 72-9% for the mid-stage male breast cancer. However, if male breast cancer isn’t diagnosed the chances of survival at the advanced cancer stages are reduced to 20%.
It is advised to understand the causes, symptoms and diagnosis and proper treatment for the male breast cancer.
Symptoms of Male breast cancer:
If you find some changes in the breast you must not ignore them and consult your doctor. Some of the symptoms of breast cancer are nipple pain, inversion of nipples known as nipple retraction, feeling of a lump in the breast, blood or fluid discharge from the nipples, skin dimpling, sores in the nipples, redness of breast skin, enlarged lymph nodes, and formation of a coloured ring at the centre of the nipple. The lump could be painless initially, however, the consequences can worsen.
The lymph nodes spread to the underarm, collarbone and can result in the formation of breast tissue. If you notice the above symptoms you must contact the doctors quickly.
The above symptoms of male breast cancer can worsen over time. Cancer may spread to different parts of the body such as liver and lungs. You may feel shortness of breath, pain in bones and joints. Jaundice along with itching skin is also common among with men affected by male breast cancer. People with cancer exhaust quickly and feel tired all throughout the day.
Causes of Male breast cancer: The cancerous cells arise due to a number of risk factors. Some of them are:
Klinefelter’s Syndrome: The Klinefelter’s Syndrome is recognized when baby boys have too high estrogen levels than the normal levels. It is predicted that men suffering from Klinefelter’s Syndrome have 20 times more possible to develop male breast cancer.
Estrogen receptors: The estrogen receptors on the walls of cell membranes help the estrogen to combine with the cancer cells. The binding of estrogen to the cancer cells multiplies their growth. Studies reveal that every nine out of 10 men have estrogen receptors on their cell membranes.
Gene mutation: Studies show that gene mutation has an important role in likeliness of male breast cancer. For instance: BRAC2 mutation contributes to 5% of breast cancer in a male.
Apart from these causes, testicle diseases such as mumps orchitis caused due to testicular injury may likely cause cancer. Too much exposure to radiation on the chest also has adverse impacts. Cirrhosis a liver disease also triggers the cancerous cells.
Gynecomastia known as enlargement of breasts due to infections, hormonal changes are the probable cause of male breast cancer.
Treatments for male breast cancer:
The following treatments are used to treat male breast cancer:
Surgery: An operation called for modified radical mastectomy is carried out to treat the male breast cancer. The procedure involves the removal of the breast and the lymph nodes.
Estrogen Hormone Therapy: The estrogen receptors reside on the walls of cancer cells. Good estrogen levels boost the growth and multiplication of the cells. The estrogen hormone therapy inhibits the production of estrogen. Two procedures are carried out to block the estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors lessen the production of the aromatase proteins which lessen the estrogen levels in the body. Tamoxifen is a medication that obstructs the entry of estrogen into the cancer cells.
Chemotherapy: In cases of absence of the estrogen receptors on the cancer cells the estrogen hormone therapy doesn’t work. Chemotherapy is used in such cases. It is conducted after the surgical operations to avoid the return of cancer or the production of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is known to treat the symptoms of incurable cancer.
Generally, male breast cancer is diagnosed later in men as compared to women. This is because men probably feel less strange in the breast tissue. The breast tissue in men is smaller as compared to women which make it difficult for them to realize the lumps in the breast.
Different techniques such as biopsies (taking a small part of tissue for test), mammography and other physical tests are conducted by the doctors to find the actual cause of the underlying breast cancer. These tests give an accurate analysis of the problem.
It is advised to visit the doctor if you detect the symptoms of breast cancer. Get the proper medical treatment to prevent the worsening of the problem. You must follow a healthy lifestyle to stay away from male breast cancer.