What you should know about male breast cancer

(WXYZ) - October is breast cancer awareness month, which is why health experts are encouraging both women and men to educate themselves about breast cancer.

While much of the focus has been on women, doctors say it's also important for men to learn about the signs of breast cancer.

Male breast cancer is rare, but can be deadly.

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 2,200 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and more than 400 will die from the disease.

Experts say men often don't pay attention to symptoms, so when they are diagnosed with breast cancer, it may be too late.

"The main misconception with respect to men and breast cancer is the idea that men don't have breasts, so how could they possibly get breast cancer?" said Dr. Steven Libutti, Director of the Montifiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care. "Although a much less frequent disease in men, it doesn't make it any less important to be aware of changes in your body."

Some of the warning signs of breast cancer in men include a lump in or around the breast, changes in skin surface or texture, nipple discharge or dimpling of the nipple.

Some men also have a higher risk of breast cancer than others.

Past research has shown a link between male breast cancer and a family history of certain types of liver disease.

Men who have the BRCA gene mutation may also be at an increased risk for breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer. There is also a 50 percent chance that the gene will be passed on to the man's children.


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