About one percent of breast cancer cases develop in men, much more often between 60 and 70 years. Generally, the same patient detects it because it detects in his chest some abnormalities that make him consult with the doctor. In the case of men, the first consultation is usually with the physician, which after the review will indicate the way forward (tomography, mammography, laboratory analysis, consultation with the mastologist). Dr Valeria El Haj explained to Página12: "There is a lot of talk about breast cancer in women and it is very good, because that is causing more female deaths. However, there is hardly any talk of breast cancer in men, and it is very bad. It is true that the incidence is small, about one percent of the patients are men. But just because of this, diagnosis and treatment are achieved in stages where the tumors are already very advanced. And then the prognosis becomes complicated. "
The symptoms that lead the man to consult the doctor are the same as those presented by women: Mass or thickening of the chest or near it or in the lymph nodes in the armpit, change in the size or shape of the breast (especially if one breast is different from the other) , dimples or wrinkles on the skin, if the nipple turns inwards, fluid that comes out of the nipple (especially if it has blood), skinny, red or swollen skin on the chest, nipple or areola (dark area surrounding the nipple), dimples in the breast resemble orange peel skin (called orange peel skin). "The problem with the lack of spread of breast cancer in men is the late onset of treatment. There are patients who have consulted dermatologists for a number of years on breast problems and none of the doctors came up with that possibility and treated them as patients with some type of dermatitis. In fact, there is already a cutaneous metastasis of breast cancer, "El Haj insisted.
And how is it diagnosed? "Exactly the same as in women: through mammography and ultrasound in the breast. They are two complementary studies that serve to indicate or not a biopsy. The only exact confirmation that there is or is not cancerous tissue is obtained by tissue analysis. And so you can see What's the way forward, says the doctor. It's rare to think of a mammogram in a man (you have to put the breast in a machine that suppresses it a bit and through X-rays gets an image of the inner tissue) but the nature is wise … and El Haj says: "A very high proportion of breast cancer in men occurs in men over the age of 60. At this height, the development of fatty tissue permits perfectly a mammogram. Obviously, not all lumps are cancerous and it's not about panic panic and begins to insist on mammograms for all. Therefore, you need to be awake with the risk factors. "Many obese men develop an accumulation of fatty tissue in their breasts, called gynecomastia. This problem favors the formation of tumors.
The most important factor to consider is family history: "A patient with a history of cancer in men in his family is more likely to suffer from the disease. Remember that they are more likely, that does not mean you will inevitably have cancer. But you have to know and if any symptoms occur, take it into account to diagnose it or exclude it as soon as possible and begin treatment. "
Other factors are the hormonal changes, as excess estrogen predisposes to tumor formations. Liver problems, such as cirrhosis (which causes an increase in estrogen, because the liver can not metabolize them) and thyroid problems also increase the odds. And, of course, the usual ones, such as smoking, alcoholism, obesity, obesity. "You must not leave testicular problems, such as orchitis (inflammation of the testicle) or any other discomfort or injury. In these cases, in addition to treating the symptoms, you must thoroughly investigate the causes," added the doctor. And he insisted, "You do not have to panic. It's about knowing the risk factors and controlling them." And contact the doctor as soon as the symptoms occur. Special attention should be paid to family history and told the doctor to hear attention. The attack on time, with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and / or surgery (in whole or in part) have the same chance of survival as in women. Early diagnosis is what makes the difference, as they improve the odds a lot if the problem is taken on time. "