Breast Cancer in Men: The Hidden Truth
“Although breast cancer in men is rare, about 2,000 American men are diagnosed each year with invasive breast cancer.”
There are diseases that are spoken about openly in today’s society, like breast cancer. Founded in 1982, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which hosts an annual breast cancer awareness race, Race for the Cure , has brought more attention to the cause than any other organization in recent years. And yet, breast cancer in men is rarely heard of, let alone discussed. In spite of the well-established fact that men get breast cancer, cases go largely un-diagnosed and unreported because of the lack of real dialogue and education surrounding the issue.
Breast cancer in men is uncommon, making up less than 1 percent of all breast cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It occurs most often between the ages of 60 and 70, but may appear at any age.
Men and women share some similar risk factors for breast cancer: high levels of estrogen exposure, a family history of the disease and a history of radiation to the chest. Although all men have estrogen in their bodies, obesity, cirrhosis (liver disease) and Klinefelter’s syndrome (a genetic disorder) increase estrogen levels. All are known risk factors for male breast cancer.