Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Men
The larger majority of breast cancers occur in women and so men rarely think it is necessary to attend routine screening. Due it this, most men who get detected with breast cancer only do so when it is in its advanced stages. A lot of information about cancer awareness is directed towards women. It is important for men to understand more about factors that expose them to breast cancer. All the way from symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, men’s breast cancer is usually similar to women’s, except in some few areas such as types of surgery.
Nevertheless, it is important to take some time and provide insight to health issues that affect men specifically. Hopefully it makes it possible to pass across the cancer awareness massage with more focus to men. Let us look at the risk factors that increase a man’s risk of getting breast cancer.
- Age – this is the major factor, increase in age increases the chances of getting breast cancer in men. The average age for all men diagnosed with breast cancer is 68 years.
- Estrogenlevels – the growth of breast is controlled and stimulated by estrogen. High estrogen levels increases chances of breast cancer. Such high levels of estrogen are caused by:
- Hormonal medications
- Being overweight
- Exposure to estrogen in the surroundings such as those fed to cows to fatten them
- Heavy use of alcohol that may limit livers functionality in limiting estrogen
- Liver diseases- leads to reduced androgen levels and high estrogen levels
- Family history – a strong family history with genetic alterations or breast cancer can increase the likelihood of cancer occurrence, especially if other men in the family have had breast cancer. The risk increases even more if there exists a proven cancer gene abnormality in the family. Still, it is necessary to note that many of breast cancer occurrences have occurred in people with no breast cancer history in their family nor an abnormal breast cancer gene.
- Exposure to radioactivity – a person who undergoes a radioactive therapy in the chest area at 30 years or below, more especially during the adolescence stage, may have higher chances of breast cancer. Exceptions noted not to have the effect include radiation done for purposes of treating breast cancer and young people who undergo radiation to treat Hodgkin’s disease.
- Klinefelter syndrome – this syndrome causes a reduced level of androgen which is a male hormone, and higher estrogen levels (female hormones). This increases the possibility of developing gynecomastia, a non-cancerous tissue growth and breast cancer. Klinefelter syndrome occurs at birth in about one man every one thousand.