How Common Is Breast Cancer In Men?

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Learn everything you need to know about breast cancer in men, including the symptoms and treatment options available. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the UK. And, while many people believe breast cancer is an illness that only affects women, this isn’t the case. Men can suffer from breast cancer too. The disease is most prevalent in men aged 60 and over, but it can also affect younger men.

Here we’ll tell you all you need to know about breast cancer in men.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer in men?

The first sign of breast cancer is usually a hard, painless lump in the tissue that surrounds the nipple. The lump will usually remain quite fixed - it tends not to move around if you place pressure on it. If you notice a discharge from the nipple, such as fluid which may be streaked with blood, this could be a sign of breast cancer.

Others symptoms include:

  • a sore or rash around the nipple that persists for more than a few days
  • hard, red or swollen nipple or surrounding skin
  • small bumps in the armpit, which may be swollen glands
  • your nipple turns inwards

**What to do if you spot any signs of breast cancer **

If you notice any of the above symptoms, it’s always worth booking an appointment with your GP. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be challenging to get a doctor’s appointment. However, it’s possible to book an online GP appointment through your local GP surgery or via Vala Health’s secure online portal.

The chance of your having breast cancer is low and there are many other (harmless) reasons that you may be experiencing symptoms.

If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, it’s important to mention this to the GP. They may run some blood tests to assess whether you may be at risk of contracting breast cancer in the future.

What to expect at your GP appointment

If you visit the doctor due to experiencing any symptoms of breast cancer, here’s a brief overview of what to expect.

If your GP appointment takes place over the telephone or online, the doctor will ask you a few questions. They will ask you to describe your symptoms and discuss your medical and family history. The doctor will then refer you for a physical exam or any necessary tests.

If your appointment takes place face-to-face, the doctor will examine the breast area and feel for any lumps or hardness in the tissue and nipple area. This examination won’t be painful - it may feel a little uncomfortable but will be over quickly!

From here, the doctor will either reassure you that the lump is nothing to worry about. Or they may send you for a scan or tests to rule out the risk of breast cancer and put your mind at ease.

Treatment options for breast cancer in men

There are a number of treatment options to consider. Your doctor will discuss the options with you and make recommendations on the best course of action for your individual case.

You may need surgery to remove the affected area of the breast and some of the glands in the armpit. Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy are also options for the treatment of breast cancer.

Where to get support

If you’re worried about any symptoms, the first step should be to speak to a GP or online medical professional.

If you’re waiting for your appointment, test results, a referral or you’re due to start treatment, it’s perfectly normal and understandable to feel anxious. Our online healthcare team is highly trained and experienced in supporting patients with all types of cancer. They can provide medical advice and personal or emotional support.

Macmillan Cancer Support is a UK Charity that provides information, resources and support to people with cancer and their families. Cancer Research continues to invest in life-saving research that improves the outcomes for those suffering with cancer.

Whatever happens, remember that you’re never alone and together we can beat cancer!

What is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

As the name suggests, the goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to provide information about breast cancer so more people know about it. It’s important to be able to recognise the signs and know how to examine yourself regularly. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better outcomes you can expect.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is also aimed at providing support to those who are affected by the disease. You can wear a pink ribbon to show your support!

Want to speak to a doctor about breast cancer or any other health concerns? Book a same day appointment with one of our team.

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