Men Can Have Breast Cancer?

Sarah Muntaz

150px-pink_ribbon-svgThe first of October marks the start of breast cancer awareness month. Cancer is known as abnormal cell growth, but breast cancer is actually a tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. This tumor formed in the breast is classified as malignant, meaning it will develop and invade nearby tissues whilst spreading throughout the body. (American Cancer Society)

Breast cancer awareness month places emphasis on early detection of breast cancer. Statistics show that about one in every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. (U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics | Breastcancer.org)

It is also estimated that in 2016, 40,450 women will die of breast cancer.  With early detection, many of these deaths could have been prevented. To treat breast cancer in its early stages, most people have one of two types of surgery. One common route of treatment is a mastectomy, during which the surgeon removes the whole breast and lymph nodes from under the arm. To read about the actual technique utilized in the procedure click here http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1830124-overview#a3

The other surgical form of treatment for breast cancer is to have breast sparing surgery that is followed by radiation therapy. Breast sparing surgery is comprised of a lumpectomy and partial mastectomy. The lumpectomy removes the tumor and surrounding normal tissue. In the partial mastectomy, only the parts of the breasts infected with the tumor are removed (“ePublications”).

Regardless of the technique used, the common goal is to remove the cancer from the breast and lymph nodes. To read more about the treatments for breast cancer, click here http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/early-stage-breast-cancer.htm

Although breast cancer predominantly affects women, it is still possible for males to get it. This is not quite as common since men do not produce as much estrogen compared as women. However, breast cancer in men is possible if they are taking estrogen, are exposed to radiation by the chest area, have cirrhosis, have a severe liver disease, or even because of the enlargement of their breasts due to drug or hormone treatment (“Breast Cancer in Men: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments”).To read more on men and breast cancer, click here http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/guide/breast-cancer-men?page=1#1

What is breast cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/moreinformation/breastcancerearlydetection/breast-cancer-early-detection-what-is-breast-cancer

U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics | Breastcancer.org. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics

What are the key statistics about breast cancer? (n.d.). Retrieved from (cancer.http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-key-statistics

EPublications. (n.d.). Retrieved October 03, 2016, from http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/early-stage-breast-cancer.html

Breast Cancer in Men: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments. (n.d.). Retrieved October 03, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/guide/breast-cancer-men?page=1#1

Editor: Ruby Halfacre and Daryn Dever