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OhioHealth Medical Minute: Male Breast Cancer

MM - Male Breast Cancer

While you may spend Breast Cancer Awareness Month wearing pink to support women, you may be missing another important part of the breast cancer patient community – male patients.

While breast cancer in men is not as common, over 2,000 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. this year. Mathew Knowles, the father of singer Beyoncé, recently announced his diagnosis, shining a light on the subject and encouraging men to be aware that they, too, can be diagnosed.

Deepa Halaharvi, DO, a breast cancer survivor and breast surgeon at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center and OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, discussed some information surrounding male breast cancer in the latest OhioHealth Medical Minute.

“It is in less than 1% of all breast cancers,” said Dr. Halaharvi. “One in 833 men will get diagnosed with breast cancer so it’s not that common.”

Dr. Halaharvi said while women are encouraged to complete monthly self-breast exams, it is also important for men to be aware of changes in their bodies as well. Things they should be looking out for are lumps or a mass in the breast (whether they are painful or not), discharge from the nipple, pulling of the skin or a lump under the arm.

“In the last 25 years there has been a 25% increase in male breast cancer and we don’t know if that’s because men are more aware of symptoms and are going to the doctor,” said Dr. Halaharvi.

Treatment for breast cancer is specific for every case depending on the cancer. The treatment options do not change whether it is for men or women.

“The treatment for breast cancer for men or women depends on the location of the tumor, the size of the tumor, and the stage of the cancer and typically it involves some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and anti-estrogen therapy,” said Dr. Halaharvi.

Learn more about OhioHealth Cancer Care by clicking here.