UTICA, N.Y. — Typically when we think of breast cancer, we think of it only affecting women – but that’s not always the case.
“Breast cancer in men is actually pretty rare, but it still does occur,” said Dr. James Cesare, Director of the Breast Care Center at Slocum-Dickson Medical Group. “About one in a thousand men get breast cancer; we have about 2,500 new cased diagnosed every year.”
Because men don’t normally think of breast cancer being an issue, Cesare said they often won’t notice anything wrong until it’s already started to spread.
“I don’t think men come in and say ‘I think I have breast cancer,'” he said. “They come in and say ‘aw jeez, this lump hasn’t gone away, my nipple looks funny, you know I’m having trouble moving my arm.’ Very rarely do they come in and say I think I might have breast cancer.”
And while women closely monitor their breasts for any irregularities, Cesare said men need to start doing it as well.
“Men don’t realize there’s a normal physiological change in the breast, but they have to be aware that if there’s something firm, or something that’s not usual, that they need to check that as well,” Cesare said.
Men who feel symptoms such as a lump or any pain in their breast should be checked by a doctor right away, and if it is cancer Cesare said treatment for men and women is the same.
“Men go through the exact same treatment; radiation, chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, hormone therapy – same regimen, same drugs, same treatment,” he said.
Cesare said men should always monitor their bodies and be mindful or any irregularities.