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Breast Cancer in Men

            October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is time when many groups and organizations as well as the public ban together to make people aware of the dangers of the disease. It has proven to be highly successful in getting more women to have mammograms and submit to follow-up tests. Yet, while everyone understands that breast cancer is predominantly a woman's disease, an amazing number of people do not realize that it strikes men as well. It is this lack of awareness, along with improper or no testing, and good old-fashioned fear that is causing this disease be seem more common among men.
             Data from various cancer groups suggests that more than 2,000 cases of breast cancer will likely be diagnosed in men before the end of this year. Of that amount, it is estimated that as many as one-quarter of those diagnosed men could die from the disease. Unfortunately, those figures are not the entire story. There is also believed to be a staggering amount of male breast cancer cases that will go undetected until it is too late.
             Unlike women, who have been indoctrinated with all of the statistics about this disease, men have barely been educated at all. Men - - just like women - - can develop cancerous cells in the chest area. However, the high mortality rate among men is attributed to the fact that they often discover cancerous cells much later than their female counterparts.
             Men, like women, need to be aware of the medical history of their family members. Families with multiple cases of breast cancer mean that all family members could be increasingly susceptible to the disease. It matters not whether the family member in question is male or female. Mothers and grandmothers and even great-grandmothers can spawn sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons who may develop breast cancer.
             Heredity isn't the only issue to be concerned about. There are other things that can cause breast cancer in men. These include many of the same things that cause the disease in women, like increasing age, repeated doses of radiation and high levels of estrogen.

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