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Did you know that men can get breast cancer too? | Max Bupa
23 October 2020
October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to instigate more conversations around the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of the disease. While a higher fraction of breast cancer cases worldwide are detected amongst women, men too are vulnerable to the disease, although the possibilities are lower in comparison.
However, men are often ignorant of the fact that they can develop breast cancer because of the false notion that it is a ‘women’s disease’. But since the breast tissues are present in people of all sexes, everyone is susceptible to breast cancer.
What causes breast cancer in men?
Breast cancer develops when some cells in the breast grow at a more rapid speed than the healthy cells. These cells eventually accumulate and form a tumour which later results in a lump. And over time the tumour spreads to other parts of the body.
What conditions increase the risk of breast cancer?
• Inflamed testicles know as orchitis - Development of abnormal testicles which makes men produce a lower level of male hormones and higher levels of female hormones.
• Orchiectomy – Surgical removal of the testicles
• Genetic susceptibility – Mutated genes inherited from parents can increase breast cancer risk.
• Although breast cancer causes can develop in any age group, men in their 60s are more vulnerable to the disease.
• Cirrhosis in the liver that may reduce male hormones and result in higher female hormones
• When estrogen level in the body is high, it causes obesity which can contribute to the development of breast cancer.
What are the identifiable symptoms?
• Thickening of the breast tissue along with a painless lump
• Changes on the skin that covers the breasts – wrinkling, scaling, redness or dimpling
• Changes in the nipple such as nipple turning inwards
• Discharges from the nipples
• Medical diagnosis – mammography and biopsy
What are the types of breast cancer diagnosed in men?
• Ductal carcinoma – Cancer in the milk ducts
• Cancer that begins in the milk-producing glands Lobular carcinoma – Cancer in the milk-producing glands
• Rare types: Sarcomas, phyllodes, Paget’s disease and angiosarcomas – Cancer that originates muscle cells, fat cells, or connective tissues
What are the preventive measures?
Here are specific measures that you can take to prevent breast cancer:
• A healthy body calls for a good diet. This does not necessarily mean that you make drastic diet changes; instead, make healthier choices. You can include tomatoes, blueberries, walnuts, sweet potatoes, kale, mushroom, broccoli, milk, pink and red grapefruit and guava.
• Take nutritional supplements like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and omega oils.
• Stay fit by engaging in daily exercise, sports or yoga.
• Keeping your mind healthy is important too. Practising meditation helps to relax the mind and reduce stress levels.
What are the treatments?
The commonly used methods to treat breast cancer are:
• Surgery – Mastectomy, Breast-conserving surgery, Lymphectomy
• Radiation therapy
• Targeted therapy
• Hormone therapy.
As you may have guessed, with the rising medical inflation, hospitalisation charges and medicine costs, each of these treatments is highly expensive. Therefore, by investing in a health insurance plan for yourself and your family, you can prepare yourself for any unexpected medical emergency that may arise in the future.
Max Bupa’s Health Premia offers both family and individual health insurance plan. Health Premia covers in-patient hospitalisation, hospital accommodation, pre and post hospitalisation medical expenses, emergency ambulance, day-care treatment, domiciliary hospitalisation, organ transplant, alternative treatment and OPD treatment and diagnostics services. Some standout benefits of health insurance under Health Premia include inbuilt travel insurance, new age treatment, maternity benefit, refill benefit and health check-up. Besides these, there are add on features like – critical illness cover, health coach, enhanced geographical cover and more. Hence, sign up for Max Bupa's health insurance plan to protect yourself from unexpected health ailments and costs.