It’s rare! But true men have breasts too which may turn to cancer just as women. There is nothing to be embarrassed about it. Breast cancer in men is rare cancer that forms in the breast tissue regardless of gender. Although, breast cancer in women is more common. According to CDC, “About 1 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the United States is found in a man.” And, the type of breast cancer in men is the same as the type in women.
According to Mayo Clinic, “male breast cancer is most common in older men, though it can occur at any age. Just as in females, early diagnosis of male breast cancer has a good chance for a survival.
Like any other cancer of the human body, this cancer starts with breast tissue beginning to overgrow for various reasons and becomes a tumor. Once it starts as a tumor that can be felt (palpated) as a lump and can be observed in the x-ray. All men should pay attention to their bodies look for any signs and symptoms. If any discharge, swelling, or bump on either side of the chest or underarms is found, promptly consult a physician because early detection is the key to successful treatment.
Treatment options in men are very similar to women, which is the removal of breast tissue. And the extent of the surgery depends on the size of the tumor and its spread. Followed by chemotherapy and/or Radiation therapy. A common after-effect of surgery is lymphedema and pain on the involved side, which may occur after surgery, chemo, or radiation. Physical therapy is the next step in the treatment protocol. Pre-surgical physical conditioning is beneficial before undergoing surgery, and/or chemotherapy, and/or radiation afterward.
Lymphedema is swelling that typically occurs in the upper or lower extremities, due to an excessive buildup of lymph fluid. Your lymphatic system is part of your circulatory system, and it is a network of vessels that carry lymph fluid towards the heart. The lymphatic system is an essential part of your immune and circulatory systems.
When a blockage happens in your lymphatic system, swelling of your arms or legs may occur, as the fluid is not able to drain properly. Improper drainage results in a build-up of the lymph fluid in your arms and legs, which can generate adverse health risks. If you are suffering from lymphedema, contact Jeevam Therapy today to find relief!
How can Physical Therapy (PT) Help?
Once anyone a man or a woman has a breast cancer diagnosis, a Physical Therapist (PT) must be on board to assist you on your path to recovery. PT can help with pain relief using various modalities and teach you strategies to manage your lymphedema if any persists. At Jeevam Therapy, we walk you through your journey to recovery by teaching you techniques step by step to manage your pain and symptoms.
Regardless of your gender, it would help if you did a self-breast-exam at home during the shower. All you’ll need is a handheld mirror in your shower.
Start with both hands gently rubbing against the back of your neck and around your collar bones. Rub your breast and underarm area in small circular motions covering every inch of the site. Hang a handheld mirror in the shower for self-checking of any discoloration or nipple discharge. If anything you see doesn’t seem right, take a photo to document it and consult a physician. Please continue to take pictures of the changes periodically as you notice them.
On the last day of the men’s health awareness month, we at Jeevam Therapy urge all men to practice self-breast exams as a prevention and early detection. Make yourself more knowledgeable on the fact that breast cancer in men exists and can be cured if detected early.
There are many resources out there to get help. To get more informed and involved, learn how you can support those who are suffering from breast cancer.