Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Five facts about breast cancer in men

While women most commonly acquire breast cancer, the breast tissue in men can become cancerous. It is extremely rare for men to develop breast cancer, yet it has been known to happen. Because breast cancer in men is so rarely discussed and little is understood about it, the following facts about breast cancer in men have been gathered to inform readers.

Fact: Men between the ages of 60-70 are most commonly diagnosed with breast cancer.

Fact: Symptoms of breast cancer in men include a nipple discharge, lump under the nipple, discoloration of the breast skin and dimpling of the skin in that area.

Fact: Risks of men developing breast cancer include genetic factors, exposure to radiation, high levels of estrogen (which commonly occurs in men diagnosed with Klinefelter's syndrome -- having an extra female chromosome, resulting in XXY rather than the normal XY), and liver disease.

Fact: The most common type of breast cancer to occur in men is infiltrating ductal carcinoma, which is cancer with origins in the ducts (tubular structures) of the breast. It is referred to as "infiltrating" because this means that the cancer cells have spread beyond the ducts.

Fact: Once a lump is detected, a biopsy is the most common method used to determine if there is cancer.

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