Screening for Male Breast Cancer
Male breast cancer, although rare, can occur and should be checked. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends that men over 35 who have a high risk for breast cancer should be screened regularly. Although male breast cancer only accounts for less than 1 percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States, it can still occur and be fatal. Due to the fact that men have much less breast tissue than women, they are not routinely screened.
Men at Higher Risk
Some men have a higher risk of breast cancer due to genetics and family history. Men who have a BRCA2 or BRCA1 gene mutation or have a close relative that has this mutation, it is recommended to get screened. Additionally, if your family as a strong history of breast cancer, especially family members who have been diagnosed at 40 years old or younger, it is also strongly recommended to get screened.
The BRCA2 (Breast Cancer Gene 2) is the most common gene mutation that is responsible for breast cancer in both men and women. The BRCA2 gene not only increases the risk of breast cancer, but can also lead to prostate cancer. Men can inherit the BRCA2 gene from either their mother or father and subsequently can pass it along to their daughter or son.
If you have any concerns about your family history and risk of breast cancer, make sure to seek medical expertise. The more you know about your genetics, the more you can be proactive. Getting screened for all cancers is beneficial to your overall future health. Due to the uncommon nature of breast cancer in men, many people do not think to get screened. Dr. Elist, a male health expert, can help get you started on how to best evaluate your health.