Breast cancer isn’t just a woman’s disease; men suffer from breast cancer, too. Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor in the breast tissue.
Cancer cells in the tumor can metastasize (spread) to other areas of the body. As cancer spreads, it can interfere with the functioning of organs. This is what can cause death.
Male breast cancer can happen at any age, but it’s more common in those who are older. Many men wait a long time before being checked simply because they don’t believe they could have breast cancer. Unfortunately, ignoring a lump in the breast decreases the chances of survival.
If you have any of the below symptoms, it’s crucial you see your doctor immediately.
- A lump in your breast.
- Skin changes around the breasts, such as puckering, redness, and dimpling.
- Red and scaling nipples.
- Discharge coming from the nipples.
Women aren’t the only ones who have milk-producing breasts. Men have them as well, but not enough to feed an infant. Therefore, men’s breasts can also be at risk for cancer.
Cancer can begin in the milk ducts and milk-producing glands. It can rapidly spread to the nipples, which comes with the name Paget’s Disease.
Risk Factors for Male Breast Cancer
The risk for male breast cancer increases with age. The risk of developing this form of cancer peaks between the ages of 68 and 71.
- Estrogen can significantly increase your risk of breast cancer. Estrogen can be found in many drugs for hormone therapy.
- Family history of breast cancer can increase your chances of developing it.
- Klinefelter’s syndrome is a genetic syndrome. It’s when a boy is born with more than one copy of the X chromosome. This can cause an abnormal development of the testicles, and produce higher levels of estrogen.
- Liver disease, which often comes from alcoholism, can increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Obesity seems to increase chances as well. Fat cells can convert androgens (male hormone) into estrogen.
- Exposure to radiation, especially in the chest area can lead to this form of cancer.
- Testicular disease, which is when the testicles become inflamed, and when a man has to have a testicle removed, are all risk factors.
Gynecomastia, in which there is an excess of breast tissue, is also a factor in male breast cancer.
Gynecomastia and Breast Cancer
The National Cancer Institute in 2014 confirmed the risk for male breast cancer is significant when men have gynecomastia. The NIH pooled risk factor data from over 21 studies, and their results were revealed in the February 19, 2014 issue of the Journal of National Cancer Institute.
If you suffer from gynecomastia, enlarged male breasts, you may be at risk for breast cancer. It is imperative to be screened by your primary care physician. To decrease the risk, you should consider gynecomastia surgery.
Gynecomastia surgery uses tumescent laser liposuction (Smartlipo™). The laser produces a gentle heat that precisely targets fat in the breasts. This heat destroys the fat cells, so they can be easily removed with a suction cannula.
Extra glandular tissue under the nipples is removed with a scalpel. A small, semi-circular incision is made in the areola to remove the glands. Scarring is well hidden and very discreet.
Contact Advanced Cosmetic Surgery of New York today for more information on gynecomastia surgery. Our cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons in Long Island and Manhattan care about your health, and would like to reduce your risk for male breast cancer.
Free consultations are available in our Long Island and Manhattan offices Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and until 6:00 PM on Saturdays.