Breast cancer awareness also targeted to men

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The second leading cause of death of women is silently affecting men and organizations are raising awareness in October to voice the truth.

“Breast cancer happens to men and it is very important (that breast screenings) are part of annual check-ups,” Betsy Donahue, a spokesperson for King’s Daughter Medical Center, said. “Three men that came through our imaging system this year were diagnosed with breast cancer.”

More than 1,700 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, according to

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The Web site said men are usually diagnosed with breast cancer at later stages, which makes it difficult for doctors to treat and cure the patients.

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Web site defines breast cancer as a malignant tumor that grows in one or both breasts.

Although men have less breast tissue than women, they do have breast cells that undergo cancerous changes, the disease spreads similarly and the prognosis and treatment of males with breast cancer are the same as those of women, the site said.

It also said men make up for less than one percent of breast cancer patients and it is usually found in men between the ages of 60- and 70-years-old.

Organizations are working to educate men with a collective campaign Real Men Wear Pink during October and all year long.

“That is part of their bodies and they need to be checked just like anything else,” Donahue said.

Some men are paying closer attention than others, she said.

“We do one to two mammograms on men a week and usually it is because he has felt a lump,” Donahue said.

KDMC physicians encourage men to discuss breast screenings with their doctors.

Anyone who is interested in receiving more information about breast cancer can call the medical center at 1-888-377-KDMC.