BHAKTAPUR, Oct 28: Many of us think breast cancer is a woman´s disease and men have nothing to worry about. But it may come as a shock that males too can get breast cancer and that the number of male patient suffering from the dread disease is steadily growing in Nepal.
Though the chances of males getting breast cancer are just one percent compared to women, the rising incidence, according to doctors at Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital, is a bit worrisome. The hospital has so far identified 21 male breast cancer cases over six years, a rise of 5 percent over the period.
Dr. Prakash Raj Neupane, senior consultant surgeon and surgical oncologist, said that though male breast cancer is rare compared to women, it is more dangerous given the rapidity with which it spreads to other parts of the body.
Dr. Neupane explained that it is much easier to trace the symptomatic initial lumps because of the smaller male breast size. The presence of any unnatural lump in the breast, breast swelling, an inward turning nipple and redness of the nipple or surrounding skin are some common symptoms, he said.
However, he quickly added that those below 25 need not worry about some of the symptoms as such changes are common in that age group due to physiological development.
Those above 50 should be careful if they notice one or more common symptoms as the disease most often occurs in old age,” Dr. Neupane said. As with many other diseases, daily exercise, balanced diet and a non-alcoholic lifestyle are some of the precautions against breast cancer, he added.
Dr. Sunil Kumar Poudyal, chief administrative officer at Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital, said not all breast lumps are cancerous but suggested visiting a doctor anyway if an unnatural lump is traced.
“Since breast cancer can be easily inherited, it is always good for the elderly to consult a doctor if anyone above 50 comes across the symptoms,” said Poudyal, adding that if the cancer is detected early the chances of a cure are high.