When Male Breast Cancer is mentioned in a predominantly male audience, I can see the men squirm in their seats. For one thing, men don’t usually think about their “chest and pecs” as breast tissue. Well, sorry guys…it is very similar but simply not as developed. Secondly, the possibility of developing Breast Cancer is usually the farthest thing from a man’s mind.
According to the American Cancer Society, the incidence of Male Breast Cancer is increasing. Although it is considered “rare” for men to develop Breast Cancer, over 400 men die each year because of it. Think of those 400 families and communities that have been affected by this loss. It may be considered “rare” from a statistical point of view, but the reality is that it is a growing concern for men. The impression that male breast cancer has a worse prognosis stems from the tendency toward being diagnosed at later stages, often times because of lack of awareness.
Like any other cell of a man’s body, the breast ducts cells can undergo changes and develop into cancer cells. Breast Cancer in men can also spread to the lymph and metastasize to other parts of the body.
What are some of the risk factors for men?
1. Radiation Exposure
Radiation comes in many forms. There is ionizing radiation such as exposure to x-rays and there is non-ionizing radiation from electrical appliances (ELF) and cell phones. (EMF) As our world expands into faster wireless networks and cell phones, the increase in the EMF’s can have a significant impact on the breast tissue, especially if men use their shirt pocket as a cell phone holder.
Anti-perspirants are designed to block a normal function of the body….sweat. The many lymph glands near the breast and in the arm pit are designed to carry away the toxins from the sensitive breast tissue. Anti-perspirants contain metals such as aluminum that mimic estrogen signaling in the breast tissue. Studies have linked the increased rate of Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer to the use of anti-perspirants.
3. Exposure to Parabens
Parabens are chemical preservatives that are used extensively in the cosmetic and body care products industry. Parabens have been shown to increase Breast Cancer incidence and to interfere with male reproductive functions. Choose more natural based products that are paraben free and toxin free.
BPA is used to make plastics and epoxy resins. It is added to the lining of canned foods to prevent the food from reacting to the metal. Studies have shown that this chemical mimics estrogen and causes cell proliferation and thus has a direct effect on Breast Cancer.
5. Environmental Estrogens
For decades, there has been serious concern about the environmental implications of these hormone disrupting chemicals called “xeno-estrogens” or false estrogens. Literally translated, Xeno-estrogens are “foreign estrogens” that imitate estrogen and its effect on the body. These chemical estrogens are potent and powerful and have been found in extremely high levels in Breast Cancer tumors.
Foreign estrogens can be found in pesticides and insecticides, sunscreens, food preservatives, tap water, growth hormones from meats and dairy, just to name.
5. Liver Cirrhosis
A diseased liver cannot metabolize estrogen properly. There is a process in the body called methylation, which involves various phases of liver detoxification. If proper breakdown of estrogen does not occur, the more aggressive estrogen can accumulate in the body and cause increased cell division.
There are other factors that may influence Male Breast Cancer, such as Klinefelter Syndrome, familial tendencies and BRCA2 mutations. However, just as Breast Cancer in females can be prevented, being proactive with prevention also applies to the male population.
A great way to be proactive is to have regular Thermographic Screenings of the chest area. Thermography is a very sensitive tool that may pick up on any physiological and inflammatory changes occurring in the breast tissue.
If you would like to share your story about your experience with Male Breast Cancer feel free to contact me. I would appreciate hearing about your journey.