Breast cancer affects millions of people every year. Though it mostly affects women, there is a significant amount of men who grapple with breast cancer and often find it difficult to beat it.
But does that mean it is incurable? What are the treatment options? Most importantly, you want to know about the symptoms and what could cause it so that you can prevent it if it is possible.
This article will specifically look into male breast cancer and how it can affect them in detail. Keep on reading to know more about the vicious disease that can impact your well-being as well.
Male breast cancer- Stages and early symptoms
The stages in male breast cancer detection include,
- Stage 0: This is the initial stage when the cells have started to grow in the ducts and not in the nearby areas. It is often said that in this stage, you can cure cancer by targeting the area rightly.
- Stage 1: There is a tumor but it is still localized and has not spread its tentacles.
- Stage 2: A slightly serious condition, this means the tumor has moved from the ducts and taken restitute in the adjoining tissues. There is still a significant chance that the body parts could be salvaged along with the patient’s life.
- Stage 3: Considered to be the second last stage, the cancer may have spread to the nearby areas, and the lymph nodes might be beyond help. This also means removal of the tumor could be complicit making surgery a no option.
- Stage 4: It is the last stage and now cancer has spread to all its nearby organs including the lungs, liver, bones, and even the brain. If not explicitly their systems are corrupted and no treatment could make an effect. This is usually when the individual opts for palliative care.
The early symptoms of male breast cancer are not much different from that of females. Firstly, the individual may feel a lump on his breast area that can also be a swelling in the tissue.
Secondly, there could be a chance that the shape of the lump changes more often than not. Thirdly, there could be changes in the nipple area with slight discharge, reddening, and even irritated skin.
Lastly, male breast cancer patients are known to have symptoms like pain in the areola area that could be originating from the breast tissue.
Is Male breast cancer curable? – Causes and treatment
Male breast cancer is not very different from its female counterpart. It affects the breasts males have that are not fully developed like females. It is relatively known to be rare and its causes also need more clarity. However, the researchers have been able to zero in on a few including,
- Aging: Your age can always be a factor when it comes to developing cancer. Moreover, the researchers have been able to uncover facts that suggest that older men develop male breast cancer easily.
- Family history: Your family history can also be one of the causes why you might be vulnerable to developing breast cancer.
- Inherited Gene mutation: Mutation in the BRCA2 gene can lead to breast cancer in females. Similarly, it has been observed that if the mutation occurs in males, there is a possibility that they might develop breast cancer.
- Radiation exposure: Exposing oneself to radiation can always be harmful and can put you at risk of cancer of any form.
- Liver disease: Liver cirrhosis is a disease particularly found in individuals who drink and since a larger population of males drink there is a chance that they can develop breast cancer in the coming years. Researchers believe that this happens because the dysfunctional liver cannot modulate hormones letting cancer cells thrive.
- Klinefelter syndrome: It is also a genetic condition where men have been identified to have more female hormones than male ones. In such a case, there is a greater chance that the individual can develop breast cancer since the risk factors for women are applicable to them as well.
- Hormone imbalances: A small group of men are known to have certain hormonal imbalances that have caused the growth of cancer cells in their breasts.
To answer the question at hand, male breast cancer is curable if detected early and if the patient is in Stages 0-2. Stage 3 can also be helped out with new medications but 4 means the last stage and there is hardly anything that could be done. Moreover, if the patient wants treatment he will be given the following,
This is the first course of action suggested by the doctors. It could either be a full removal of the breast and its adjoining areas or only the tumor-infected area with some healthy tissue that will save the rest of the breast area.
This is where a combination of chemicals are pumped into the body to destroy the cells as a whole.
➡️ Radiation therapy
Ironically, cancer caused by radiation can be burned away by radiation if the tumor is not too far spread.
➡️ Hormone therapy
We did say a significant part of males have problems with their hormones and this therapy could be the answer.
➡️ Targeted therapy
The special location is targeted and treated with medications.
Overall, the curability of male breast cancer depends on early detection, stage, and the medication one aims to use.
Male breast cancer is a condition that requires a lot of attention from us. If you think you have the gene or it is in your family, you might want to go for frequent checkups irrespective of your gender.
Alcoholics with liver damage or individuals with estrogen abundance might also want to consult their respective doctors to take the right course of action.
With the discoveries happening around us, the medical field is soon to find its one-stop solution for cancer as well. In the meantime, all we can do is keep our bodies healthy by eating and exercising along with regular doctor checkups.