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Home News and Update Year 2010 Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too!

Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too!

Times of India
30 Septeber 2010
Hyderabad, India

In 95 Per Cent Of Cases The Cause Is Unknown
With the breast cancer awareness month starting in October, doctors are stressing on the need for better awareness among people on their vulnerability to various forms of cancer. For instance, they note how some cancer conditions such as breast cancer are not limited to women alone. Men, doctors say, are also at risk as they constitute one per cent of the total breast cancer cases.

Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too!
Dr K Raghuram, director, KIMSUshalakshmi Centre for Breast Diseases, who has treated three male breast cancer patients this year, says that men who are under an assumption that "only women can get breast cancer" should think twice.

Citing a few causes, he says that obesity, which may multiply the amount of oestrogen (female hormone) in the body, increases the chance of men developing breast cancer. Also, high oestrogen levels can occur in men due to long term liver damage (particularly cirrhosis), obesity and some genetic conditions leading to breast cancer. Men with a faulty BRCA2 gene carry a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. Incidentally, hereditary breast cancer is more common in men than in women, Dr Raghuram says.

However, in 95 per cent of the cases, the cause is unknown. Take for instance, 76-year-old B V N Reddy. Hailing from Medak, Reddy who was diagnosed with breast cancer and operated in August, told ‘TOI’ that it was news when doctors told him he had breast cancer. "I absolutely had no idea that men could also get breast cancer. I have been physically active all through and also a teetotaller. But now am happy that the disease was diagnosed in the first stage and am perfectly alright. I have been mentally strong all through," says Reddy, who is into the agriculture business.

Doctors further say that men are likely to develop breast cancer at an older age. Most men who get this condition are over 60 although younger men can also be affected.

At the same time, Dr P Vijayanand Reddy, oncologist, Apollo hospital, says that men comprise a minuscule percentage when it comes to breast cancer as against women.

"Worldwide there is no screening advice for men," says Dr Reddy. Doctors say that as breast cancer cannot be prevented , early detection is the primary key to long term survival.

Even as a host of events are lined up in October starting from campaigns, talks, free clinics to screening of film on cancer, city-based breast cancer specialists say that the need for awareness is absolutely crucial. Lack of awareness is not just among uneducated but also among the urban and educated.

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