Did you know that June is Men’s Health Month? As such we’d like to raise awareness about an often-overlooked male cancer – breast cancer. Although, breast cancer in men is rare, it does happen. In 2012, it is estimated that among U.S. men there will be 2,190 new cases of breast cancer and 410 breast cancer deaths.
Survival rates for men are about the same as for women with the same stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis, but men tend to be diagnosed at a later stages because they are less likely to report symptoms.
Warning Signs of Male Breast Cancer
Changes in the breast or nipple can be warning signs of male breast cancer include:
- Lump, hard knot or thickening in the breast (usually painless, but may be tender)
- Dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin of the breast
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of the nipple (inverted nipple) or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge
As men tend to have much less breast tissue compared to women, some of these signs can be easier to notice in men than in women. These symptoms may also be signs of a benign (non-cancer) breast condition. If you notice any of these signs or other changes in your breast or nipple, see your health care provider right away.
If you suspect you or a loved one may have symptoms of male breast cancer, we recommend you arrange a visit with your primary care physician immediately. After an evaluation he or she can help you determine the appropriate course of action.