Though breast cancer primarily affects women, men are certainly not immune to the disease. In fact, more than 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States—and that means men have to take the disease just as seriously as women.
This is not to say that all men need to receive a routine mammogram or perform a self-exam every day, however, depending on factors such as family history, regular check-ups can be a life-saving measure. Here are some of the most interesting statistics surrounding male breast cancer that you may not have considered.
- Though research for male breast cancer is less prominent than research for women, 33 percent of clinical trials are open to men.
- Similar to female breast cancer, only 10 percent of men diagnosed report a genetic link to the disease.
- Risk for developing breast cancer increases with age, and age 68 is the average age for men to be diagnosed with breast cancer. This risk increases though with family history, certain testicular conditions, or behaviors like heavy drinking or smoking.
- The majority of male breast cancer—92 percent—is considered hormone-receptor-positive, which develops because of an increased presence of estrogen or progesterone.
- More than 400 men lose their battle with breast cancer every year.
- According to the American Cancer Society, 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
- There is currently a 5-year projected survival rate of 100 percent for male breast cancer, if detected in its earliest stages.
- Although less than 1 percent of breast cancer diagnoses comes from men, it is still important to be aware of your individual risks and to get tested.
- Symptoms for breast cancer in men are similar to those for women, including a lump or hard knot in the breast tissue, change in size or shape, and itchy, scaly or sore skin.
- Men are often less likely to report symptoms, and therefore are less likely to receive timely treatment for breast cancer.