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Do Men Face the Risk of Breast Cancer Too?

Do Men Face the Risk of Breast Cancer Too?

Did you know around 1.03% of all breast cancer cases in India are men? Yes, you read that right. Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer, characterised by an uncontrolled growth of cells leading to the formation of lumps in the breast. It is a rare occurrence in men, but it’s time to break any stigma around the disease and everyone should get tested if experiencing any unnatural changes in the body- be it men or women. 

There are multiple symptoms of breast cancer, while some might experience none others might experience all, including:

  • Change in size or shape of the breast 
  • A new lump in the breast or underarm 
  • Nipple discharge (could include blood)
  • Redness or a rash around the nipple 
  • Inverted nipple
  • Pain in the breast area or armpit 
  • Change in the skin texture like puckering or dimpling

If experiencing any symptoms, one should consult a doctor right away. Breast cancer is treatable if diagnosed early. 

Risk Factors of Breast Cancer 
There are several factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. While having a family history is one of the factors that can’t be escaped, but there are a few more: 

Age:
The risk of breast cancer increases with age. While most common occurrences were people above 40 years, it has shifted from the age group 50-70 years to 30-50 years in India.

Dense Breast Tissue: 
Having dense breast tissue is one of the common risk factors of developing breast cancer. 

Breast Lumps: 
Having non-cancerous breast lumps increases the chances of developing breast cancer in the later stage. 

Diet & Lifestyle: 
Consuming excess alcohol and having a high-fat diet with a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing cancerous breast lumps. 

Genes: 
People with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Radiation Exposure:
Research shows that frequent exposure to X-Rays and CT scans might raise the chance of developing breast cancer. 

Hormone Therapy:
Postmenopausal estrogen and progesterone medications in women to reduce their signs of menopause symptoms increase the risk of breast cancer.

Estrogen Exposure:
Women who started their menstrual cycle before 12 years of age and didn’t start menopause even after 55 years are more prone to developing breast cancer. This is because of a prolonged exposure to estrogen that increases the risk of developing cancerous lumps in the breast. 

Prior Experience of Breast Cancer:
People who experience breast cancer once are prone to developing cancerous lumps with time.

Prevention Measures You Should Adopt 
Early detection of breast cancer is the first step towards its recovery. While some of the risk factors can not be controlled, following a healthy lifestyle, having regular screenings and taking preventive measures as per doctor’s recommendations can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. A few preventive measures you should adopt: 

  • Self-examination of breasts every month helps in early detection. And the process is simple- touch, look and check. If you experience any unusual changes, it’s time to consult your doctor. 
  • If you are over 40 years, consider getting mammography done. It is a simple procedure that helps in detecting any irregularities in the breast tissue. 
  • If you are taking any hormonal therapy or birth control pills, make sure to consult a doctor about its side effects. 
  • For new mothers, breastfeeding for at least one year is advisable to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

By: Navreet Kaur | on 2020-10-01

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