Breast cancer is often mistaken as a woman-specific medical condition. While it is true that this dreadful condition has a much higher probability of striking women, men are not completely safe from it either. Read on to unravel the workings of this ailment and understand it better in the context of men.
Statistics state that 1% of the total breast cancer patient population is comprised of men, therefore, proving that though the possibility of contracting it may be very faint, men are not entirely off the hook when it comes to this disease. Men have breast tissue too which is susceptible to malignancies. The ducts and lobules present in men are far less numerous than those found in women. It is mostly in these parts that cancer surfaces, which is why the possibility of such an occurrence in males is lesser than females. Unfortunately, due to a lack of awareness of this disease, men usually fail to check for lumps in their chest that could help catch the disease sooner. A taboo attached to such a situation also stops people from seeking support, giving the cancer time to spread.
Here are five truths about this form of carcinoma in men that everyone needs to know:
- Lumps Are Almost Always the First Sign. It is easier to spot an unusual growth around the chest in men than in women primarily as a result of tissue scarcity. In the case of carcinoma in this region, a tumor is more likely to show up in the armpit or the area encircling the nipples, making the surrounding skin stretch or retract.
- Genetics Matter. Similar cases in the family– regardless of the gender of those affected – hikes your risk manifold. Gene mutations related to this condition can also be inherited, therefore, making you more vulnerable to a malignant growth
- Estrogen-Boosting Health Conditions Can Worsen Your Case. Since the creation and multiplication of cells in the breast is driven by the number of hormones like estrogen, any disease that elevates the level of estrogen can lay the foundation for carcinoma in this region. Obesity, liver cirrhosis, and hormone-altering are all examples of risk-elevating factors.
- Age Plays a Vital Role. Regardless of gender, cancer risk starts climbing with age. After the 60-year mark, your risk soars dramatically, with 68 years old being the average amongst men with this disease.
- Do Not Confuse A Lump With Gynecomastia. Gynecomastia - commonly referred to as man-breasts, is a condition in which higher than usual levels of estrogen in a man give rise to the formation of excessive tissue. It is critical to detect any variations in the breast region to rule out the chances of cancer before concluding that it is just gynecomastia.
- Jaundice – This is the easiest to spot as it leads to the sallow skin as well as dark colored urine. This outcome occurs when an unusual cancerous growth obstructs the ducts, hampering the biliary flow and making it accumulate in the bloodstream.
- Excessive Itching – Skin that is itchy without any visible reason is another sign to be watchful for. Such a condition occurs due to an aggregation of bile salts in the skin.
- Abdominal Pain - When in its later stages, this disease can cause abdominal pain as a tumor grows in size and pushes on the rest of the organs that surround it.
- Loss Of Appetite – A sign that is consistent across all forms of cancer, loss of appetite without any perceptible reason is also a symptom in this condition.
- Drastic Drop In Weight – If there has been a rapid and effortless decrease of weight, this can signal a malignancy in the biliary ducts.
- Fever – A high-grade temperature that does not subside could also be an indication.
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