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Avatar universal

Men and the big C

Don't listen to people and especially doctors who say, "oh don't worry about it, men usually don't get breast cancer before they are sixty." The problem with this statement, is that male breast cancer seems to be such a rare occurrence in medicine, how does anyone really know? Breast cancer in men is a very slowly progressing disease, since it is encouraged by estrogen, men have little, therefore if they should get breast cancer it may well be a long time before symptoms occur. Two things: My surgeon said that my tumor was 7 years old, that was her guess. And secondly, she told be she just a week before did a double on a 23 year old guy. So don't listen to any of the common cliches about men and breast cancer. Being a male who went through a mastectomy and radiation I have done a lot of internet time researching the disease from a male perspective. Here are my conclusions: (and I mean just mine) More men have breast cancer than the statics show for any number of reasons, mainly ignorance. If you think there is something wrong with you, there may well be something wrong with you, you know you own body: listen to what it is telling you. Do not accept  dismissal from a doctor about your complaint,
because some diseases are unusual. If you think you have something going on in your breast, speak up, I WANT TO GET A MAMMOGRAM. Period.  


This discussion is related to Male nipple hardening.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
You are very right!  However the biggest problem with male breast cancer and I don't mean to sound disrespectful, is that men in general tend to brush off the little changes. Men do need to be more vigilent in their own health.  I hope you attend the breast cancer functions in your city, such as the walk for the cure and continue to let men know that they too can be victims of this disease!
Avatar universal
Evanski--I agree entirely with your comments regarding male breast cancer.

From my perspective, there has not been enough effort by the breast cancer community to get the word out to males about their risk of developing this disease.  I am 62 and currently fighting invasive ductile carcinoma.

Throughout my adult life, I have annually seen doctors for physicals. I have been probed, prodded, sampled and screened in too numerous to count ways, always agreeing to what the doctors said I needed for preventive care.   But never once did any of my doctors even mention that it would be a good idea for me to preform self breast exams, much less for them to conduct such an exam on me.  At my annual physical as late as this year I was told by the doc I appeared to be "healthy as horse"--while at the same time I was standing there before him with a 1.7cm breast cancer tumor growing.  

Now, I understand that doctors are pressed more and more for time as they perform their duties.  But, heck, a just a mention of my risk would have been enough for me to do the exams on my own. I suspect I would have found it earlier.  But the lump hid away growing and was only found by me when I noticed a strange pain in my breast.  

As Sue suggests, I tell every man I run into these days about male breast cancer, but I'm not in the health care profession which I think could do a better job than I can to educate males on this disease.

Thanks for your post.
739091 tn?1300669627
I am so sorry you're going through this. You're right, they don't talk enough about the men who get breast cancer. There are about 1500 men a year that get this diagnosis and about 197,000 women.

Since it is so rare in men, have you considered getting the genetic testing done for BRCA 1 and 2? I'm sure there is a really good BRCA savvy genetic counselor in your area who could explain your risk and that of your family, should you indeed have the mutation. There are some out there that still believe that only the female side of the family carries the mutation but that is incorrect. It is found more and more on the men's side of the family.

I hope you feel comfortable letting us know how you're doing as you go on.

Best wishes with your treatment.
Avatar universal
Sue--
Yes, I am considering the genetic counseling, not because I have children, but because of my brothers and their children.  I also read somewhere that the PARP inhibitors being used to treat more advanced breast cancer than mine respond with tumors that have the BRACA gene mutation.  If I  progress to metastatic stage, then the BRACA information could become very important to me.

Thanks for your comments.
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