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Breast cancer in Men

Whenever one hears about 'breast cancer', one translates it as ‘a  form of cancer that attacks women’. The truth is Breast Cancer is just more common in women then in men. It is estimated that fewer than one in every hundred men suffer from it. So yes, Breast Cancer is not only limited to women, men are also possible targets of this malignant disease.

Like women, men also are prone to the development of cancerous cells in the tissues of the chest.This cancer is usually diagnosed in men over the age of sixty. Men who have close relatives, either male or female who suffer from breast cancer or have a history of cancer in their family have a higher possibility of being infected. Also men with high estrogen levels, or men who have been exposed to repeated doses of radiation (particularly at a young age) may be at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Men who have a rare genetic condition called Klinefelter’s syndrome, and have an extra female chromosome present, have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Heavy alcohol consumption can also increase the chances of breast cancer in men.

The stage of a cancer describes its size and whether it has spread beyond its original site. Generally breast cancer is divided into four stages, from stage 1, which is small and localised, to stage 4, where the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Similarly, the cancer cells can be graded on the basis of there ability to develop. There are three grades: grade 1 (low-grade), grade 2 (moderate-grade) and grade 3 (high-grade). Low-grade means that the cancer cells look very like the normal cells of the breast. These cancer cells are usually slow-growing and less likely to spread. In high-grade tumours the cells look very abnormal. They are likely to grow more quickly, and are more likely to spread.

Breast cancer, like in women, can be fatal in men. Men who have breast cancer usually discover the disease later than women, when the tumors are larger and the cancer has spread. This is most probably because of the lack of awareness that men too can have breast cancer.

It is necessary that you know the symptoms of breast cancer. The symptoms may include breast lumps, a change in the size or shape of the breast, nipple inversion, nipple discharge (sometimes bloody), a pain or pulling sensation in the breast and a rash on the nipple or surrounding area. On the basis of these symptoms, if you suspect yourself of suffering from breast cancer, or even have the slightest doubt, visit your doctor at once. 

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