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Male Breast Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, Prevention
and Other Important Facts


Breast cancer, typically regarded as a women's health condition, can strike men too. In fact, though men are about 100 times less likely to get breast cancer than women, about 1 percent of all breast cancers occur in men.

male breast cancer

Nearly 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.

An estimated 1,990 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, according to the American Cancer Society, and 450 will die from the disease.

No one is really sure what causes cancer of male breast tissue, but researchers believe genetic factors and possibly receiving radiation exposure to the chest, such as during childhood radiation therapy, may be involved.

Signs and Risk Factors to Watch Out For

As with female breast cancer, the most common sign of breast cancer in men is a lump or thickening of the breast tissue. You may also notice:

  • Dimpling or puckering in your skin

  • A change in nipple shape (such as indentation)

  • Scaling or redness of your nipple or breast skin

  • Nipple discharge

Male breast cancer carries with it similar lifestyle risks as do all forms of cancer. Specifically, a poor diet, smoking, or drinking excessively all increase your risk. Other risk factors specifically for male breast cancer include:

  • Age: Men between the ages of 60 and 70 are most at risk

  • Family history

  • Radiation treatments as a child or young adult

  • Klinefelter's syndrome, which results from an abnormality of the sex chromosomes

  • Exposure to estrogen, such as by taking estrogen-related drugs or hormone therapy

  • Liver disease: This increases estrogen activity in your body

  • Obesity

male breast cancer

Most often, men get breast cancer between the ages of 60 and 70

Perhaps because male breast cancer is so uncommon, men are much more likely to have delayed diagnosis, and treatment, than are women. In fact, a study that came out this year found that one-third of the men studied had advanced breast cancer by the time they were seen by a doctor. In women, meanwhile, fewer than 10 percent have advanced cancer when they first visit a doctor.

Can Male Breast Cancer be Prevented?

For now, the best route to prevent male breast cancer is similar to how you would reduce your risk of any cancer: with lifestyle changes. Among the best are:

Stretching: A Great Addition to Your Cancer-Preventive Lifestyle

Stretching DVDRegular physical activity is a great tool to prevent cancer of all kinds, and one of the best, and most overlooked, exercises is stretching.

It takes only 15 minutes to stretch all the key muscle groups throughout your entire body, and the highly recommended Stretching for a Healthier Life DVD shows you exactly how!

Find Out More About the Stretching for a Healthier Life DVD Now!

  • Limit Alcohol Consumption: Drinking alcohol in excess increases your risk of various cancers.

  • Eat More Fruits and Vegetables: They're loaded with cancer-fighting nutrients, such as phytoestrogens.

  • Limit Intake of Processed Meats and Trans Fats: Processed meats, like lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon and sausages, have been linked to prostate and other cancers.

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise will reduce your risk of just about every type of cancer.

  • Avoid exposure to environmental chemicals, radiation and air pollution. As air pollution inside the home is one of the fastest-growing causes of disease, leading health organizations now strongly recommend you use a high-quality air purifier in your home, such as the PIONAIR™ Air Treatment System.

  • Get the proper amount of vitamin D. Maintaining healthy vitamin D levels is known to protect against cancer, according to the Vitamin D Council. Experts say 15-20 minutes of sunlight a day is an ideal amount for a light-skinned person to produce the right amount of vitamin D.

Recommended Reading

10 Top Causes of Prostate Cancer and How to Avoid Them

Nine Common Actions and Habits That Can Lower Men's Sperm Count


Reuters Health July 7, 2008 Male Breast Cancer


MedLine Plus: Male Breast Cancer

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