Because it's not spoken about as frequently as female breast cancer, male breast cancer often comes as a shock to the men and families affected by the disease. Men develop breast cancer at a much lower rate than women, but certain risk factors, such as gynecomastia, liver disease, and hormonal imbalances, increase a man's odds of developing breast cancer. When male breast cancer occurs, it's typically treated using one or more of the four modern strategies listed below.
1. Overcoming Male Breast Cancer With Hormone Therapy
Like women, men have both testosterone and estrogen. When men develop an excessive amount of estrogen, the imbalance can lead to breast cancer. High estrogen levels in men are caused by a variety of factors, including aging, previous steroid use, estrogen-related drug use, excessive alcohol intake, and genetic predisposition.
Hormone therapy is a modern treatment option for men who have breast cancer caused by high estrogen levels. The therapy decreases estrogen levels and blocks estrogen activity to restore hormonal balance in the body and stop the growth of cancer cells.
2. Tackling Male Breast Cancer With Surgery
A mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast) is an effective treatment option for male breast cancer. Before surgery, a biopsy of lymph nodes from the armpit is performed to check for cancer cells. These lymph nodes may need to be removed as part of the surgical procedure. General anesthesia is used during the surgery, and patients will stay at the hospital overnight. Typically, the nipple is removed during a mastectomy, and nipple reconstruction may be used if desired.
3. Treating Male Breast Cancer With Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is another effective treatment option for male breast cancer. Radiation therapy utilizes radioactive rays to kill the cancer cells in the chest and armpits. This modern treatment strategy is often used in situations where cancer remains after a mastectomy.
4. Beating Male Breast Cancer With Chemotherapy
Like many other forms of cancer, male breast cancer can be treated using chemotherapy. Similar to radiation therapy, chemotherapy kills the cancer cells directly, but chemotherapy uses medication instead of radiation. The medication may be delivered using pills or injections. Chemotherapy is often used after surgery, but it may be used as a sole treatment in cases of advanced male breast cancer.
One or more of the above strategies are typically used to treat male breast cancer. An oncologist will determine which treatment option is ideal to achieve optimal results for each patient. To learn more, visit a website like http://swoncology.net/.