Breast Cancer Affects Men Too

By Eloise King | First published October 2, 2011
body+soul, The Sunday Telegraph

About 100 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia each year.

Breast cancer in men is the same disease that affects about 14,000 Australian women each year.

The incidence of male breast cancer has remained largely unchanged, according to the most recent national data, which monitored rates over the 25-year period from 1982. Dr Helen Zorbas, Cancer Australia CEO, says that while it may come as a surprise to most men to learn they can develop breast cancer, “it’s important for men who find a change in their breasts not to let embarrassment or uncertainty prevent them from seeing their doctor quickly”.

  • Early detection and treatment is the best way to survive the disease. Left unchecked, cancer can spread to the lymph nodes in the breast area or armpit.
  • The most common symptom in men is a painless lump in the breast close to the nipple. Other possible symptoms include:
  • A discharge from the nipple.
  • A change in the shape or appearance of the nipple.
  • A change in the shape or appearance of the pectoral area, such as swelling or dimpling.
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) under the arm.
  • Pain.

“Cancer is not a death sentence,” Dr Zorbas says.

“I can’t stress strongly enough that the trick with cancer is to find and treat it early.”

LeeBreast Cancer Affects Men Too

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