Male Breast Cancer in the News Thanks to Peter Criss

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Former KISS drummer Peter Criss has given an interview to the Associated Press regarding his personal diagnosis of male breast cancer. Thanks should be given to Criss for placing male breast cancer in the news.

In the interview, Criss reports feeling a small lump in his left breast back in 2007. His visit with his physician resulted in a mammogram and a surgery to remove the lump. The pathology revealed breast cancer.

Thankfully for Criss the disease was in its earliest stage. After a second surgery to remove it in March 2008, he needed no chemotherapy, radiation or medication. He will still need routine follow up exams.

Male breast cancer accounts for only 1 percent of all breast cancer cases. Each year approximately 2000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Each year about 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. In the U.S., the ratio of female to male breast cancer is approximately 100:1 in whites, but lower (70:1) in blacks.

The disease is most common in men between the ages of 50 and 60. The lifetime risk of developing it is less than 1% for the average man, but for those carrying the breast cancer gene BRCA2, the risk increases to about 6%. Family history is particularly important: One in every five men with breast cancer has a relative who's also had it.

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Risk factors other than genetics include Klinefelter's syndrome, exposure to radiation of the chest area as a child, exposure to estrogen, excess weight, and excessive use of alcohol

Routine screening mammograms are not recommended in men, but if a suspicious breast mass is present then a diagnostic mammogram may be done. The mammogram is abnormal in 80 to 90 percent of MBCs. The mammogram can usually distinguish between malignancy and simple gynecomastia.

The most common signs of the breast cancer disease in men include skin dimpling or puckering, development of a new indentation in the nipple, other changes in the nipple, and nipple discharge.

Treatment for male breast cancer is similar to treatment for breast cancer in women. However, in men breast-sparing surgery is typically not feasible due to the small amount of breast tissue. Most male breast cancer is treated by removing all of the breast. Some men will require chemotherapy, radiation or medication in addition to surgery.

Related story
* Raising Awareness of Male Breast Cancer

Sources
National Institute of Health

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