Breast cancer in men may be a rare occurrence, but it does happen.
Music executive and father of Beyonce and Solange Knowles, Mathew Knowles, opened up about his battle with breast cancer on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.
The symptoms he experienced were dots of blood on his t-shirt over a consecutive number of days. After a mammogram, the doctor tells Mathew he has breast cancer.
In July, he underwent a mastectomy to remove one breast. He will be removing his second breast in January.
Breast cancer in men
The American Cancer Society estimates about 2,670 new cases of invasive male breast cancer will be diagnosed in the USA in 2019, and about 500 men will die from the disease.
According to Mary Smania, assistant professor at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, only 1% of men get breast cancer, but the disease carries dangerous consequences.
Sometimes breast cancer can spread and cause swelling under the arm or around the collar bone, even before the original tumour in the breast isn’t big enough to be felt, according to the organization.
The good news is that breast cancer is easier to detect in men because they don’t have the same amount of breast tissue that women have.
Symptoms of breast cancer in men
The American Cancer Society lists signs and symptoms of male breast cancer:
- A lump or swelling, which is often (but not always) painless
- Skin dimpling or puckering
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin
- Discharge from the nipple
Mammograms and routine screenings for breast cancer – widely perceived as a women’s disease – are not as commonly practiced in men as they are in women, but Mathew is taking the opportunity to encourage men to get themselves checked for breast cancer.
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Featured image: People.com
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