5 Mo Misconceptions About Male Breast Cancer

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Men’s Health Month happens every November and we at Keep A Breast want to celebrate it all year! For many of our male readers, this means growing insanely awesome mustaches, or Mos, in support of testicular and prostate cancer health programs or supporting friends who are growing their own Mos. The Movember movement got us thinking about other health issues men face, like breast cancer. That’s right dudes, you can get breast cancer too. Here at Keep A Breast we spend a lot of time out on the road talking to people about breast cancer and how to prevent it. One thing we’ve noticed while on the road with our Traveling Education Booth is that there are a lot of misconceptions about male breast cancer. Many men didn’t even know it existed. In honor of Men’s Health Month, we want to clear up the confusion. Here are 5 misconceptions about male breast cancer.

1. GUYS DON'T GET BREAST CANCER.

  • Wrong. Breast cancer in men occurs less often (it’s about 100 times more common in women) because male breast tissue is less developed. The American Cancer Society estimates that 2,240 new cases will be diagnosed and about 410 men in the United States will die from breast cancer in 2013. Though it’s not super common it is still a concern so it’s important to know what to look for and how to lower your risk.

2. YOU HAVE TO HAVE BREASTS TO GET BREAST CANCER.

  • Nope. Some young men at our Traveling Education Booth thought they had to have “man boobs” to get breast cancer. Sorry guys, but that’s not the case. All men have breast tissue that can become cancerous.  Although staying in shape and living a healthy lifestyle by exercising, eating a healthy diet, and reducing the toxins in your environment can help reduce your risk. 

3. MEN CAN'T DO A PROPER SELF-BREAST CHECK.

  • Sure you can! One of the most important things you can do for your health is to know your own body. If you notice anything that’s not normal for you it should be checked out by a doctor. Things to look out for include a lump or swelling (normally found under the armpit or around the nipple but guys should check around the collarbone too), skin dimpling or puckering, nipple retraction, redness or scaling of the nipple or nipple discharge. Download our free Check Yourself! app, available for iPhone and Android, for easy to follow self-check steps.

4. NO ONE IN MY FAMILY HAS BREAST CANCER SO I CAN'T GET IT.

5. YOUNG MEN DON'T GET BREAST CANCER.

  • Although breast cancer rates are much lower in young people, they do suffer from the disease. Even young men. Anyone can get breast cancer.

For more info on male breast cancer check out a past blog here and the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer in Men page. It has tons of information on warning signs, risk factors, and treatment. And be sure to check out our friends over at Movember to learn more about all this mustache craziness and what you can do to help fight testicular and prostate cancer.

And don't forget to learn about testicular cancer and how to check yourself guys! Our friends at the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation have plenty of information.

Watch this video of English barber Paul Hewitt talks to Keep A Breast about his experience with breast cancer, as well as the importance of prevention for both women and men.

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