In 5 yrs, 21% rise in breast cancer cases among menUpdated: Oct 28, 2019, 00:18 IST
It’s a common misbelief that only women are susceptible to breast cancer, when in fact, men can also suffer from the disease.
In the last five years, 288 male patients have been diagnosed with breast cancer, according to data by the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Parel.
Even though cases of breast cancer among men comprise only around one per cent of the total breast cancer cases, the risk of mortality is higher due to late diagnosis.
“Breast cancer in men is relatively more aggressive than in women. A major hurdle for early treatment in male breast cancer patients is a common misconception that the disease is limited to women,” said Dr Sanjay Dudhat, head of surgical oncology, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital.
With the rising awareness, however, the number of breast cancer cases among men has also seen an increase of 21% – from 52 cases in 2014 to 63 in 2018.
Similar to women, breast cancer in men appears as a lump in the breast or there are changes in the skin around the nipple.
A family history of breast cancer – in both men and women – is a strong risk factor, and lifestyle changes can also increase the chances of the disease.
“When it comes to male breast cancer, one in five has a family history. Inherited mutations in certain genes confer a very high risk of breast cancer, especially the BRCA 2 gene which has a lifetime risk of about six in 100 men with breast cancer,” said Dr Mallika Tewari, senior consultant, and program lead surgical oncology, at the department of surgical oncology, Wockhardt Hospitals.
“Advancing age, obesity, alcohol consumption, and history of radiation exposure should also be looked upon as possible risk factors,” she
Oncologists across the city suggested a regular check-up for men with a family history of breast cancer and those who observe lumps in the region.
“Among men, unlike women, screening mammograms are not routinely offered and may be difficult to perform because of the small amount of breast tissue,” said Dr Ian Pinto, consultant medical oncology, Jaslok Hospital, and Research Centre, Peddar Road.
“Screening mammograms may be recommended by a doctor for men with a genetic mutation, which increases the risk of developing the disease,” he said.