Popular singer and celebrity, Beyonce’s father, Mathew Knowles recently spoke up about the same, revealing his own battle with breast cancer.
“I have to be very much aware and conscious, and do all of the early detection. Constant mammograms, constant prostate exams, constant MRIs for the rest of my life,”
Making his case, he said that his diagnosis should be an example for men to gain awareness, identify risk factors and take care of their health, adding that it was nothing to be embarrassed about.
“Men want to keep it hidden because we feel embarrassed — and there’s no reason for that,” he said. “I’m hoping by me coming here today, speaking out, letting folks know that you can survive this, but it has to be early detection.”
Men and breast cancer- How big is the risk
While breast cancer is more commonly diagnosed in women, experts say that men too are at risk of developing the disease. However, the risk affects less than 1% of the population (1 in 1000 cases), with the most frequent diagnoses found in men between the ages of 60-70.
According to statistics by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the mortality rate in men, however, is greater than that of females.
Why does this happen?
While men’s breasts do not have the same milk-producing function as that of women, they do have the same type of cells and tissues, which can get cancerous and lead to problems later.
Risk factors for men are the same as that of women, namely exposure to high radiation levels, high levels of estrogen, hormonal imbalance, genetic and family history, especially if there is a prevalence of the BRCA2 gene in the family.
If somebody gets tested positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, it can imply an imminent risk of breast cancer, which can get passed on to their kids as well (as much as 50-60%).
Even though males do not develop milk-producing breasts, a man’s breast cells and tissue can still develop cancer. primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.