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Male breast cancer: What you need to know

by , 21 September 2017
Male breast cancer: What you need to know
While women are 100 times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than men, men can develop breast cancer too.

In fact, the American Cancer Society reports that more than 2,400 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. However, there's still a lot to be learned about this disease. Here's what we already know...

Only one in 1,000 men will develop breast cancer

The male breast cancer statistics are pale in comparison to the female statistics. The American Cancer Society predicts that 40,290 women will die from breast cancer this year, compared to only 460 men. What’s more, statistics show that only one in 1,000 men will develop breast cancer in his lifetime.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, the three most common cancers among men are prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer.

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Lumps are an indicative sign of male breast cancer

Just like women, men may feel a lump if they have breast cancer. Most men present with a mass, usually behind the ring of pigmented skin surrounding the nipple known as the areola.
 
It can be difficult to tell is a lump is a cause for concern or not. Holly J Pederson, director of breast services at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States says breast cancers are typically hard, similar to the consistency of a frozen pea.
 
Pederson adds that breast cancer in women is usually found during a routine mammogram in breast screening, but for men, a lump or hard mass is a tell-tale sign.
 

Family history is a huge risk factor for male breast cancer

Like women, men are at higher risk of developing breast cancer if a close family member also has or has had the disease. The American Cancer Society says around one in five men diagnosed with breast cancer has the disease in his family.
 
Other risk factors for male breast cancer include obesity and a rare genetic condition called Klinefelter syndrome, in which a man is born with an extra copy of the X chromosome.
 

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