Breast Cancer is NOT Just for WOMEN
Breast Cancer Is Not Just For Women
During 2010, one thousand nine hundred and seventy men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer which re-sulted in 390 deaths. Most cases of breast cancer are detected in men between the ages of 60 and 70, although the condition can develop in men of any age. Like breast cancer in women, cancer of the male breast is the uncontrolled growth of the abnormal cells of breast tissue.
Breast cancer in men is increased by elevated levels of estrogen, previous radiation exposure, and a family history of breast cancer.
Practice monthly self-breast exams. Do it the first day of each month. This would then become routine for you. It is important to get an idea of what your breasts feel like normally as this will en-able you to be more aware of changes if they develop. You are the best authority on your own breasts. It is a good idea to ask your health care provider to learn about doing self-breast exams and explain to you what you are feeling in the breast tissue so you are aware of what is normal. That way you can learn more about the difference in feel between normal breast tissue and lumps that may be of concern.
Additional areas to check are the areas between the upper outer breast and your armpit, as well as the armpit itself. Also, check the area just above your collarbones for enlarged lymph nodes.
The most common sign of breast cancer in men is a firm, non-painful mass located just below the nipple. There may not be other associated symptoms. The cancer may cause skin changes in the are of the nipple. These changes can include ulceration of the skin, puckering or dimpling, redness or scaling of the nipple, or turning inward of the nipple. Discharge from the nipple may also occur.
Some men ignore breast lumps or think they are caused by an infection or some other reason, and they do not get medical treat-ment until the mass has had a chance to grow. Some men are embarrassed when they find a breast lump and delay seeing a physician and reduce the chance for successful treatment. Early diagnosis allows more options for treatment and better chances for a cure.
Roberta S. Beck RNBSN
Parish Nurse Ministry Coordinator