The American Cancer Society estimates about 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Chances are 1 in 1,000 for men versus 1 in 8 for women. Most men develop breast cancer between the ages of 60 to 70, but can happen at any age. Breast cancer in the male breast is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the breast tissue.
The risk factor for men can be:
â€˘Â Family history
â€˘Â Exposure to radiation
â€˘Â High estrogen levels
High levels of estrogen can be caused by obesity or liver disease such as Klinefelterâ€™s syndrome which is a genetic disorder where men are born with a Y (male) chromosome and 2 or more X (female) chromosomes. Another liver disease more common would be cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver which can result from alcohol abuse or chronic hepatitis or rare genetic conditions. With cirrhosis, liver function is compromised and the male and female hormones in the bloodstream are altered.
Symptoms that men should be aware of are:
â€˘Â Firm non painful mass located just below the nipple
â€˘Â Skin changes in the area of the nipple such as, ulceration, puckering or dimpling, redness or the nipple turning inward
â€˘Â Bloody or opaque discharge from the nipple
Less than 1% of cases affect both breasts. Dr. Delgado states that San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento men are notoriously negligent in seeking medical advice for symptoms; usually the women in their life are responsible for them getting an early evaluation which is critical for a good prognosis.
With all this being said, most lumps in menâ€™s breasts are not cancerous but represent true gynecomastia. Sending breast tissue at the time of male breast reduction surgery also known as gynecomastia surgery may seem unnecessary and expensive to many men, unless you are one of the unlucky ones that have a positive result.