The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Opinion

October 6, 2013

Male breast cancer: Rare, but deadly

Guys, we like to show off our pecs.

You know, when we stick out our chest as a sign of our manliness.

However, below that preening a life-threatening disease could be hiding.

Breast cancer.

Yes, breast cancer. The killer of nearly 40,000 women per year.

Sure, breast cancer in men is rare — just 1 percent of all breast cancer cases in the U.S. So, naturally, when guys are first diagnosed with it, many are shocked.

And that’s understandable because, after all, breast cancer is a women’s disease.

Wrong.

Breast cancer doesn’t recognize genders. It doesn’t care if you’re a man or a woman. This is a deadly disease and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it’s important that guys become aware of this killer.

Fortunately, there are warning signs:

• You feel a lump, a hard knot or swelling in your chest area.

• The skin on your chest dimples or puckers.

• Your nipple pulls in toward your chest wall.

• You see any redness or scaling on your nipple.

• There is a discharge coming from your nipple.

If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor. Don’t be embarrassed about it.

Also, don’t be “macho” and believe that “I can’t have breast cancer. I’m a guy.”

This is no time to worry about your manliness. It’s time to be concerned about your health.

There is a forum on the Susan G. Komen Foundation website that can provide answers and insight. It’s called the Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too forum and can be found at https://apps.komen.org/forums/

So, guys, we can’t prevent breast cancer but if it’s caught early, that can make a difference.

It’s a matter of life and death.

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