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When one thinks of breast cancer, rarely do men come to mind; yet, men can develop the disease, and the dangers are exactly the same as they are for women.  Because it is primarily a cancer affecting women—40,000 deaths per year—when men do contract the disease, it isn’t something they are always comfortable to discuss, not publicly anyway.

Enter Peter Criss—yeah Peter Criss, drummer for KISS.  You remember him—cat makeup, shirtless, spandex, Beth I hear you calling…that Peter Criss.  The rock and roller developed breast cancer.  And he’s been speaking up about it, because he knows that if he didn’t, other men would continue to suffer in silence; and you and I would still go, “What do you mean ‘men with breast cancer’—that happens?”

How do men contract breast cancer?  Several things can predispose a man to the disease.  Radiation therapy, for instance.  That’s right, being treated for another cancer in the past can lead to breast cancer.  Cancer treatment causing cancer—what do you know—welcome to reality.

Breast cancer in men can also be caused by a damaged liver, often from the excessive intake of alcohol.  Liver causes can also include chronic viral hepatitis, and some genetic disorders, like Klinefelter’s syndrome can also lead to male breast cancer.  Finally, obesity and gynecomastia (moobs) both can cause male breast cancer.  I guess I don’t have to emphasize that prevention is the key, and outside of the genetic causes, these risk factors can be avoided.

About 2,000 cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed each year, and about 400 of those men will die.  But just like for women, early detection can save lives, so men have to check their breasts regularly.  If you feel a lump underneath your nipple, you’ve got to have it checked by a doctor.  If necessary, they’ll perform a biopsy.  If it turns out to be cancer, there are a number of different options to treat it, including excision.

The survival rates are pretty good—that is, if caught early enough.  Watch the video below with the heroic cat-man, Peter Criss to get some more info on male breast cancer.  Check your nipple area periodically and get any lump investigated by a doctor.  Don’t ignore it, and don’t hide it, man—we’re talking about your life here.  And if you feel weird about checking your breasts, then just remember how much you’ve enjoyed playing with them in the past, whether yours or someone else’s.  They’re just nipples, man—if you can’t touch ’em, there ain’t much use to them.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Nick Campos - All Rights Reserved.