Breast Cancer in Men: One In 100

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Approximately, one in every hundred breast cancers occur in men. Most of the tumors in men are detected at a late stage. Often these cancers can appear benign on mammogram.

Men aren't advised to get screening mammograms for breast cancer. Women are advised to do monthly breast exams beginning age 20 yr and to have a screening mammogram yearly beginning at age 40 yr.

In a recent study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, of 244 men with breast cancer, only 57 underwent preoperative mammography or sonography.

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Breast tumors in men are usually palpable by the time they're discovered. Often there are changes in the overlying skin or nipple (such as a inversion or discharge) before the man seeks medical advice.

In the report, it was noted that a third of the cases of male breast cancer showed a calcified mass on mammogram. This is often considered to be benign.

The authors of the study advise, "Be attentive to any palpable masses in men and obtain imaging evaluation early."

It is important for men who feel any changes in their own breast tissue to seek care early.

SOURCE: American Journal of Roentgenology, December 2008.

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