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This Is What You Need to Know About Male Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is commonly associated with women who are over 50 years old (the CDC notes that breast cancer risks increase with age). However, men can also get breast cancer.

This often surprises people, but the reason for this is simple; during puberty, women develop more breast tissue, and men do not, but men still have small amounts of breast tissue and according to WebMD, they can get the same types of breast cancer that women do. Like women, the chance of breast cancer in men increases with age, and according to the publication, it is more common in men over age 35, although typically affects men between aged 60 and 70. However, Mayo Clinic also notes that breast cancer in men is rare.

Other reasons that could result in breast cancer in men are higher levels of estrogen, repeated exposure to radiation, family history of breast cancer or a genetic link (men can inherit abnormal genes from their parents), and being overweight. The last point is particularly relevant for men who are obese over the age of 35.

Breast cancer in men is often diagnosed much later than women, although the symptoms are much the same, including a lump found in the breast tissue, changes to/and discharge of the nipple, and changes to the skin covering the breast. The reason breast cancer in men is diagnosed at a later stage is that men seem to be more reluctant to go and get checked out, and will often wait until they have more severe symptoms. However, if found early, the chances of cure are good.

Much like breast cancer in women, the treatment procedure is the same and can require the removal of the breast tissue through surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can also be used as part of treatment.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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