Genetic factors lead to an increased breast cancer risk for men

Rebecca Crockett
October 08, 2019 - 4:00 am
a man with his hand over his pectoral muscle

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Kansas City, MO - It's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the awareness shouldn't just be for woman. Mathew Knowles, Beyonce's father, announced this last week he's been diagnosed with breast cancer. Doctor Kelsey Larson, Breast Surgical Oncologist with the University of Kansas Cancer Center says though it's absolutely possible for men to be diagnosed, only one percent of new cases are men.

"Men, just like woman, have breast tissue. But of course, since men have much less breast tissue than woman, that's why we see it less common in men," explains Dr. Larson.

She says men need to know the signs and symptoms to catch it early and should perform a self-check exam monthly. Men should be looking for indentation or dimpling of the skin, changes around the nipple and areola, including changes of the skin or dimpling of the nipple or areola. 

Knowles' diagnosis is linked to an inherited gene mutation called BRCA. Dr.r Larson says any family member, male or female, that tests positive for the gene mutation can increase your risk significantly. She says there are other factors though, such as liver disease, medications that increase your estrogen levels, and obesity.

Dr. Larson says any male with concerns should seek attention at a center that is breast specific due to the special factors that need to be considered. 

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