While breast cancer is known to be a feminine disease, it does occur in males. Survival rates for men are the same as for women with the same stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis. However, men are often diagnosed at a later stage. Men may be less likely than women to report symptoms, which may lead to delays in diagnosis.
Warning signs to be aware of:
- Lump, hard knot or thickening in the breast, chest or underarm area
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling, puckering, or redness of the skin of the breast
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of the nipple (inverted nipple) or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge (rare)
Of these warning signs the most common is a painless lump or thickening in the breast or chest area. Most men who are diagnosed have no known risk factors and are between the ages of 65 and 67.
There are also some important risk factors to be aware of and take into consideration when talking to your provider.
- BRCA2 gene mutations
- Family history of cancer
- Exposure to radiation early in life
Since men have less breast tissue than women, some of these signs can be easier to notice. If you notice any of these signs, go see a provider right away.