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Campus Health Service

Do you know the facts:

  • men can also get breast cancer (see below for more information)
  • early diagnosis makes treatment possible
  • one in 12 women will develop breast cancer
  • there is no way to prevent breast cancer

Who is at high risk?

  • any woman regardless of race or socio-economic status, regardless of breast size
  • persons with a family history of the disease - mother, grandmother, daughter or sister with breast cancer
  • menstruating before the age of 12
  • if you smoke or use alcohol excessively
  • people with a high fat-content diet
  • menopause before the age of 55 women over the age of 40 years
  • all men

Is cancer the only breast problem that can occur?

No definitely not....

  • Inflammation: Breast tissue is constantly under the influence of hormones, causing a change in size and texture of the breast. Your diet may also influence the texture of your breast tissue. Conditions such as mastitis, fibroadenosis or fibrocystic diseases are not really dangerous but as they may also present as lumps, they should be seen to medically. Cysts may also develop over a few days and cause alarm - drainage with a syringe will bring immediate relief of discomfort, to be done by your doctor.
  • Infection: Infection usually occurs when breastfeeding, but may be seen at other times as well. Infection may present with redness, painful, swollen areas, including a temperature, and generalized illness. Breast abscesses can be part of this infection.
  • Growths: Non- growths like fibroadenomas are usually small single or multiple hard masses. They occur in teenagers or young adults. Usually harmless and may disappear if left alone. If there is any query consult your doctor asap. Occasional benign growths may cause bleeding from the nipple. This is alarming, consult your doctor immediately.
  • Cancerous growths: Such as growth is a space-occupying growth that destroys normal tissue, it is hard and usually painless. A lump is formed causing distortion of the breast, occasional skin ulceration with bleeding and infection. If treated in time the progressive destructive effects can be prevented.

Warning signs that should be followed up!

  • pain: a new or altered or persistent sensation must be reported.
  • lump: a lump that is discreet or easily felt, must be seen by a doctor.
  • nipple discharge: breastfeeding is the only time when a discharge should be present.
  • skin changes: any dimple, or pulling in of the nipple must be reported to your doctor.

Male breast cancer

In early 1998, it was estimated that 1600 men would be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 would die from it. In addition, 178,700 women will be diagnosed and 43,500 will die.

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer in men ??

  • nipple discharge
  • nipple inversion
  • breast lump
  • occasionally, local pain, itching, pulling sensation.

What are the risk factors ??

  • growing older
  • gynaecomastia (enlargement of male breast)
  • familv historv of breast cancer
  • klinefelter syndrome
  • testicular dysfunction.

Is the survival rate better for men than women ??

No. Survival of men is comparable by stage of disease at the time of diagnosis. However, men are usually diagnosed at a later stage, after the cancer has spread, because they are less likely to report any symptoms.

What should I do if I have a problem??

Report any changes in your chest/breast area to your medical professional.

The 3 steps to breast health for every person are:

  • Monthly breast examinations.
  • Yearly physician's examinations.
  • Regular mammograms after age 35.