Breast cancer in men: what you need to know

(KFVS) - When most people think of breast cancer, they generally think of women. But, the disease doesn't discriminate against men.

The American Cancer Society reports that breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. The agency predicts about 460 men will die from breast cancer in 2017.

Doctor Andrew Moore, a medical oncologist at Southeast Cancer Center, said men shouldn't view this type of cancer any differently. "It is very important to get this checked out because men don't have as much breast tissue as females in general and even a small cancer in a male has a much greater likelihood of advancing quicker."

So what symptoms should men be aware of?

"pain, soreness especially in the nipple area." said Dr. Moore. "A lump in the breast and I think all men who have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancers in some of their female relatives should keep an eye out."

Here are all the signs and symptoms of breast cancer in men, according to the American Cancer Society:

  • a lump or swelling, which usually (but not always) painless
  • skin dimpling or puckering
  • nipple retraction (turning inward)
  • redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin
  • discharge from the nipple

There are several ways doctors can diagnose breast cancer in men: diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast, nipple discharge exam, and biopsy.

There are things men can do to lower the risk of breast cancer. That includes maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the amount of alcohol consumed.

The best strategies for reducing the number of deaths caused by the disease, according to the American Cancer Society, is early detection and prompt treatment.

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