Hearing the words “breast cancer” can cause many men to switch off, assuming that it has nothing to do with them.
Men may not have milk-producing breasts, but they do share the same breast tissues and cells as women, making it possible for men to get breast cancer. Here is what you need to know.
It’s rare but still possible
The recent story of Mathew Knowles, father to celebrity singer Beyonce Knowles, suffering from breast cancer had many men wondering how this was possible when he is a man, but it is possible. Male breast cancer develops in almost 1% of breast cancer cases, with 1 in 1000 men being diagnosed with breast cancer regardless of age, race, or health.
The symptoms are similar to that of women who get breast cancer. A hard lump is usually found underneath the nipple and areola region. Breast cancer cells can also attack the lymph nodes that are found all over the body, meaning that a lump could develop in these areas such as your armpits.
When it comes to the mortality rate, men have a higher rate. This is due to the lack of awareness that it could happen to them too, meaning that cancer spreads undetected until it is too late for treatment to reverse it.
But I am fit and healthy?
Many things can place men at risk of developing breast cancer. Even if you are fit and healthy, there is still a chance that you could develop breast cancer. Symptoms to look out for are similar to that women will develop such as the puckering of your breast, a hard lump, redness or heat in your nipple. It is vital to do a monthly examination that can be done at home to check that everything is fine. However, should you feel anything or notice a discharge from your nipple, consult a professional medical practitioner immediately.
How to stay prepared
Prevention is better than cure. Men may be infamous when it comes to going for regular medical check-ups, but a few minutes could literally save your life. Doing a self-examination is something that you can do in the comfort of your home and only takes a minute. Need something to remind you? Choosing a date such as payday is usually the best way to remember to do a monthly check of your chest.
Feeling your chest every month for any changes or lumps is not something that can reduce the risk of your cancer, but it is rather a screening. While you may not be in total control of whether you will get breast cancer or not, it is possible to stay financially prepared.
The last thing anyone wants is having to stress over finances when they are sick. Having life cover in place can give you peace of mind when it comes to facing the medical bills that come with being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
You have the choice of using 50-100% of your cover amount to help ease the financial strain that comes with chemotherapy, so you can focus on your journey to recovery. Always remember that early detection can help you start a medical course that can heal you.