Breast cancer occurs in the breast tissue. The different types being:
Ductal carcinoma: This is when cancer begins in the milk ducts. Most male breast cancer cases are of this type
Lobular carcinoma:Cancer begins in the milk producing glands and is rare in men.
Typically, breast cancer can be more aggressive in men as compared to women. The standard symptoms for the condition include
- Painless lump, breast tissue thickening
- Redness, scaling or puckering of the breast skin
- Discharge from nipples
- Redness, scaling of nipples
Why do breast cases in men take longer to diagnose?
Many men also feel hesitant to seek professional medical aid regarding the exhibitory signs of the disease. Dr Haroor describes the story of one such patient, a 45-year-old male government employee who visited Fortis Hospital, Mulund with complaints of an enlarged breast and no pain. It was just discomfort and embarrassment from the physically larger breasts.
The patient delayed consultation from a doctor for a long time until they became big and uncomfortable enough to not ignore anymore. Post examination of the patient, we figured out a hard lump. It was about to protrude and burst through the skin. Thus, malignancy was immediately suspected in this case. The first course of treatment was chemotherapy to reduce the size of the lump. The patient then underwent surgery, where he had his breast tissue and the affected muscle removed.
For men, it is challenging to get screened through mammography. Hence, we performed sonography and a biopsy, diagnosing cancer. Due to the unfortunate delay in receiving proper medical treatment, his cancer had locally advanced quite a bit. The presence of very little breast tissue in males further fuels the rapid spread of cancer. However, for this patient, it had only affected his muscles and not vital organs such as the liver, lungs, brain, etc.
The last word
It is pretty common for men to avoid the doctor from shame. But one must essentially not disregard this, especially if it’s enlarged breasts. Chances are, it may be cancer. Dr Haroor further says, “If the individual has a family history of cancer, they are highly susceptible. Hence, it is in one’s best interest to not turn a blind eye to any breast lumps or other symptoms, and be vigilant”.
The expert recommends that patients take up creative activities and get plenty of exercises to keep their spirits up and help them through therapy.