When you hear the words “breast cancer,” what’s your first impression (besides dread)? Do you picture your mother, sister, or girlfriend? Film footage of legions of pink-ribbon bedecked women striding through the streets of a major city, television coverage of one of the big breast cancer fund-raising walks? Do you ever see a man in this picture? No? We often speak about the sisterhood of breast cancer. Well, move over ladies–men get breast cancer, too. Not nearly as often as women, admittedly; while about 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, the figure for men is about 1,300, a little over half of one percent of the total. But for those 1,300 men, the diagnosis is just as searing; the treatment as painful, the illness just as life-threatening. In fact, statistics show breast cancer diagnosis in a man is actually more life-threatening, due to the fact it was probably made later, and the cancer is usually more advanced. The vast major...
A breast lump is a swelling, protuberance, or lump in the breast.
Normal breast tissue is present in both males and females of all ages. This tissue responds to hormonal changes and, therefore, certain lumps can come and go.
Breast lumps may appear at all ages:
Infants may have breast lumps related to estrogen from the mother. The lump generally goes away on its own as the estrogen clears from the baby's body. It can happen to boys and girls.
Young girls often develop "breast buds" that appear just before the beginning of puberty. These bumps may be tender. They are common around age 9, but may happen as early as age 6.
Teenage boys may develop breast enlargement and lumps because of hormonal changes in mid-puberty. Although this may distress the teen, the lumps or enlargement generally go away on their own over a period of months.
Breast lumps in an adult woman raise concer...
For fibrocystic changes, birth control pills are often helpful. Other women are helped by:
Avoiding caffeine and chocolate
Limiting fat and increasing fiber in the diet
Taking vitamin E, vitamin B complex, or evening primrose oil supplements
Call your health care provider if
Call your doctor if:
The skin on your breast appears dimpled or wrinkled (like the peel of an orange)
You find a new breast lump during your monthly self-exam
You have bruising on your breast, but did not experience any injury
You have nipple discharge, especially if it is bloody or pinkish (blood-tinged)
Your nipple is inverted (turned inward) but normally is not inverted
Also call if:
You are a woman, age 20 or older, and want guidance on how to perform a breast self-examination
You are a woman over age 40 and have not had a mammogram in the past year
What to expect at your...
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