Fact Friday: Men & Breast Cancer

Guys, did you know that you can get breast cancer too? Just like other forms of cancer, breast cancer is non-discriminatory.

The American Cancer Society estimates for breast cancer in men in the United States for 2017 are:

About 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed
About 460 men will die from breast cancer

Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. The number of breast cancer cases in men relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years. (Source here.)

Early detection improves the chances that male breast cancer can be treated successfully.

There are many similarities between breast cancer in men and women, but there are some important differences that affect finding it early. These include:

  • Breast size
  • Lack of awareness that men can get breast cancer
  • For men who are high risk careful breast exams might be used
  • Genetic counseling and testing

To learn more about early detection for male breast cancer, please visit Cancer.org here.

What’s New in Research and Treatment in Breast Cancer in Men?
Studies continue to uncover lifestyle factors and habits that alter breast cancer risk. Ongoing studies are looking at the effect of exercise, weight gain or loss, and diet on breast cancer risk.
Studies on the best use of genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations continue at a rapid pace. Some studies have found that men with mutations in these genes may be more likely to develop some other cancers, including prostate cancer, stomach cancer, pancreas cancer, and melanoma. The risks for these cancers will be further defined in future studies.

  • New laboratory tests
  • Circulating tumor cells

Researchers have found that in many breast cancers, cells may break away from the tumor and enter the blood. These circulating tumor cells can be detected with sensitive lab tests. Although these tests are available for general use, it isn’t yet clear how helpful they are.

Treatments include:
* Radiation
* Chemotherapy
* Targeted therapies

To learn more about new research developments in the fight against male breast cancer, please visit this page at Cancer.org.

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