News flash: men can get breast cancer, too. But new research has found
that the disease may be more deadly for them than it is for women.
Reasons may include the fact that many men don't know that they can even get breast cancer in the first place and therefore don't catch the disease until it's advanced to its less treatable stages. And even when cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, survival rates are lower for men than women. The study found that the five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with
breast cancer (any type at any stage) was 74%, lower than the 83%
survival rate amongst women. More from US News:
Nearly 2,200 new cases of male breast cancer are expected in 2012,
according to the American Cancer Society, which also grimly estimates
that 410 of those men will die from the disease. Greif's team found that
men with breast cancer were more likely to be black than women (11.9
percent vs. 9.9 percent), and less likely to be Hispanic (3.6 percent
vs. 4.5 percent). Tumors in men tended to be larger when diagnosed,
oftentimes involving the lymph nodes and having spread to other parts of
the body. Men were also less likely than women to receive a partial
mastectomy or undergo radiation treatment.
The researchers point out that increased awareness could mean to narrowing the survival rate gap. Since women are encouraged to get breast exams and mammograms, perhaps it's time these campaigns targeted the men folk as well.
For all you guys out there reading this, be wary of a lump or swelling, scaling of the nipple, nipple redness, or nipple discharge, because any of those symptoms could mean that you have breast cancer. Either that, or you're turning into a reptile.