Breast cancer in men is rare, but some men have a high risk to get this disease. FOCUS Online spoke with a oncologist who specializes in this important men’s issue.
In the case of breast cancer someone things and forget that this typical woman can make the disease even men. After all, one of 100,000 men get breast cancer, “the disease of one percent of all breast cancer in Germany,” explains Bernhard Wörmann, Outpatient health centre of Charité, Campus Virchow in Berlin and Medical Director of the German society for Haematology and Medical Oncology.
For men, there is no early detection of breast cancer
The breast of the man is often discovered late, says the expert. To a detection programs for breast cancer in men is a lack of Earlier, as there are for women about the breast cancer Screening; the breast of the man is rare. On the other hand, the majority of men do not think of breast cancer, if you notice changes in the breast area.
Two symptoms, in which every man is warned, should be:
For breast cancer, typical symptoms are:
1. A node in the chest area, usually discover men him by chance, such as in the shower
2. The skin absorbs a part of the chest, it forms a Dent, often the node is including to feel.
“In contrast to many other types of cancer it comes to pain, almost never,” adds the oncologist.
Only to the doctor, then to the mammography
However, should the doctor the man go then? The visit to the gynecologist, which is known to be an expert on breast cancer, shy of men, understandably. Here, the house is a doctor, the first point of contact, advises Bernhard Wörmann. The doctor can then transfer to an Oncology centre in the immediate vicinity, or an appointment with the gynecologist recommend, maybe at the end of the consultation. For the diagnostic ultrasound and mammography are available.
Carcinoma of the breast of the man’s treat: surgery is the Basis
The therapy depends on the cancer stage. For all phases at the beginning, to remove the Tumor surgically. Many lymph nodes are affected, these will be removed also. In addition, irradiation is important, if the cancer is already advanced. If metastases have formed, in addition, the chemotherapy used.
Breast cancer in men is usually hormone-dependent
The good news: male breast cancer is usually very treatable. “Unlike women, where only about 70 percent of breast cancer cases are hormone-dependent, in men, about 95%, or hormone-dependent cancer, and against this Form of anti-hormone therapy works well,” says Bernhard Wörmann, who also created the guidelines for the treatment of carcinoma of the breast of the man.
The great advantage of hormone-dependent breast cancer: cancer cells divide very slowly, besides, this activity can largely be stop if medicines are taken, the Estrogen stop. Well-known representatives of these endocrine active compounds is Tamoxifen.
Fortunately, there is a new group of drugs called CDK4/6 inhibitors, which can increase in advanced breast cancer anti-hormone effect of other drugs, and thus the metastases stop.
Background: as we know, men also have female sexual hormones, such as Estrogen, but in smaller quantity than women. Breast of the man Estrogens play an important role.
In this risk factor, breast cancer, increased risk up to 60x
Accordingly, men are at risk, make a little more Estrogen, because they are genetically a X due to the own-Gen more. Your set of chromosomes contains, instead of XY, XXY. The technical term for this inheritable genetic modification is called Klinefelter’s syndrome. The outer signs of a slightly more feminine Breasts, small testes, and frequently infertility. Early treatment with male hormones allows, however, that children can be begotten.
“Most of those Affected know they have Klinefelter syndrome,” says Bernhard Wörmann. However, many of them would not know that you have a 20 – to 60-fold higher risk for breast cancer, compared to men with an XY set of chromosomes. Also, many Doctors don’t know this connection often. Approximately 80,000 men in Germany have the Klinefelter’s syndrome. You should take changes in the breast area is particularly serious, to immediately go to a doctor and suspected her of a voice.
Risk genes for breast cancer in man: BRCA2
In addition, there are as a second strong risk factor in men with certain gene mutations particularly in BRCA2. “Changes in this Gene mean that the body is unable to repair the in the course of life acquired damage in the genome – for example, by radiation, age – as well,” explains the oncologist.
In these high-risk genes are not genes that are related specifically to gender, but the genetic material that is in the case of a man and a woman, in each of the cells. In men only the risk of breast cancer but also for malignant prostate cancer as studies show not increase with these gene mutations.
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Very similar to the true for women, the risk of ovarian cancer rises next to the chest. For both sexes also increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Are in the family BRCA2 mutations are known, for example, because the father/mother have already developed a relevant cancer, and is also recommended for close relatives of a genetic test. Only a Blood test is necessary.
Obesity and female sex hormones
In addition, Obesity plays as a risk factor for a role. Especially belly fat works similar to an Organ, forms with the help of enzymes such as Aromatase, from testosterone to Estradiol. Also liver the testosterone can interfere with disease-Estrogen ratio and, thus, the risk of breast cancer increase. “The biggest risk factor for the man, however, is the Klinefelter’s syndrome”, clarifies the expert and recommends the Concerned to pay attention to the previously little-known associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
Men should examine in General, therefore, your breast more often to changes and node? Sure, but not only, advises Bernhard Wörmann: “you should generally more sensitive to changes in the body and of well-being and go to the doctor.” Many men avoid doctor’s offices and go first, if diseases are already advanced.
Here, it should be done in the interest of a rethink. Panic is not appropriate: Because breast cancer in men is often curable, the 5-year survival rate is as high as 74 percent.