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Buddy Check 3

Buddy Check 3

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Buddy Check 3 (Male Breast Cancer)

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
REGIONAL - Breast cancer is not just a woman's disease.

While the rates of male breast cancer are much lower than female breast cancer, almost 2,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

And 450 men die annually from the condition.

Kathryn Daniel has more on male breast cancer in today's Buddy Check Three.

Pensacola Oncologist Harish Malhortra says male breast cancer is less common than female breast cancer due to less tissue and the lack certain hormones such as estrogen.

Dr. Harish Malhotra/SHH Oncologist; "The most common presentation is a lump in the male breast tissue and it's generally behind the ariola."

Certain prescription drugs trigger the growth of male breast tissue. Patients taking those are at increased risk for cancerous tumors.

Alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver also raise the chances for male breast cancer.

Up to 20 percent of men with breast cancer have a genetic link to the disease. Malhotra says it's most common with males with a family history of the BRAC 2 gene. It's 100 times for likely to occur in men with that background information that can only be detected through genetic testing.

Dr. Harish Malhotra; "Routine recommendation is that is if there is a BRAC gene in the family these men should have a mammogram just like women do and the breast exams."

Malhotra says the average man -- one without any risk factors -- does not need to do self breast exams.

In almost thirty years of practice, Malhortra has had five male breast cancer patients.

He says most men with the disease experience deep shame over the diagnosis.

Dr. Harish Malhotra; "Psychologically it kinda devastates them. The few patients that I've had, it's like they have this feeling that I have a female disease that's generally confined to women and it takes some reassurance and some support to tell them that no, that it does happen in men also."

The same management practices apply post diagnosis; mastectomies, drugs, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

But the average age for detection in men is much later than in women. Most male cancers are found between ages 65 to 67 - five to ten years older than in females.

And like female breast cancer, the incidence of male breast cancer is rising. One recent report shows an increase of 26 per cent over the past 25 years.Buddy Check 3 (Male Breast Cancer)

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