Today, I would like to talk about a disease. A disease, of which most people are unaware. A disease, which leads people to a slow and painfull death by the lack of knowledge about it. A disease called male breast cancer.
I will inform you about some aspects of the nature, the risks, and the treatment of this disease, and I will discuss a little the psychological reactions of the patients.
You have heard the term "breast cancer" before, but what does it mean? Let me help you understand. Cancer occurs when cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control. Most cancers are named after the part of the body where the cancer first starts. Thus, breast cancer begins in the breast issue.
Untill today, it is thought to be a female-related problem. However, men can also develop breast cancer. Many people are unaware of it, because it is rare, and the physicians do not examine men's breasts regularly.
About 1500 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the USA. A definite dianosis can be made only by biopsy. A painless lump, usually discovered by the patient himself, is most of the times the first symptom of male breast cancer. The patient may also have a bloody nipple discharge, which seems to spread locally. The size of the cancer is usually small,about 1,5 inch.
But who is really at increased risk for the disease? There are numerous risk factors, but the most common of them have to do with age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, heredity, and hormones. First of all, as age increases, the incidence of male breast cancer increases too. Before the age of 35, the phenomenon is very rare. The average age of men at diagnosis is close to 65. Secondly, studies have shown that male breast cancer affects 14 black man and 8 white man in every million. Another study found that most of the patients were college graduates and employed as proffessionals or managers. Several researchers also reported more than two cases of the disease within a single family.