Breast cancer is typically considered a woman’s disease. But, according to Marla Ahlgrimm
, approximately 1% of every diagnosed case in the US is in a man. This is shocking news to many people, but it is important to know, since breast cancer can be fatal to both sexes.
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that the signs of male breast cancer are similar to that with females. A lump or swelling, flakiness and irritation, and even nipple discharge may indicate breast cancer. Some men also experience painful nipples, dimpling of the skin on the pectorals, and an inverted nipple.
Like women, men with breast cancer are more likely to have a mutation of specific genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA2. Age also plays a factor, and Marla Ahlgrimm notes that the vast majority of men diagnosed with breast cancer are 50 years of age or older. Family history is another important indicator of a man’s risk, and having a first generation relative with the disease puts even healthy men at a greater risk. Rarely, Klinefelter syndrome is to blame. This is an extremely rare genetic condition where the body produces too much estrogen and not enough androgens because of an additional X chromosome.