Breast cancer is often thought of as a women’s issue. However, males are also at risk for developing breast cancer, and all senior men and their Douglas County caregivers should be aware of these 4 facts about the condition.
1. Lowered Awareness Affects the Prognosis
According to Breastcancer.org, women have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, while men have a one in 1,000 chance of being diagnosed. At first glance, this makes it seem like men are safer. However, the emphasis on screenings for women often means men get overlooked. When doctors don’t catch breast cancer in the early stages, men are more likely to receive a worse prognosis.
2. Genetic Testing Is Available
It is important for men to know their family history regarding breast cancer because it plays a role in assessing their risk. Today, it is understood that a certain mutation of the BRCA2 gene increases a man’s likelihood of developing breast cancer. Men can also use this genetic test to assess their risk for prostate cancer.
3. The Symptoms Are Subtle in Men
For most cases of breast cancer, men may only have a small, painless lump or thickening of their breast tissue. However, most men do not perform self-exams, and breast exams are not routinely performed during male physical exams. As a result, breast cancer is usually not noticed until it has had time to grow and spread.
4. Self-Exams Should Be Performed Monthly
Women are encouraged to perform breast exams every month, but men have somehow been left out of this recommendation. However, the importance of male self-exams is now beginning to be recognized in the medical community. To perform a self-exam, senior men should place one hand over their head and use their opposite hand to check the chest area for signs of abnormal changes. They can do this by using three fingers to press in a circular motion over their entire breast. If anything abnormal is found, it should be reported to their physician.
Adopting healthy lifestyle decisions can reduce a senior man’s risk for breast cancer. If your aging loved one needs help managing his or her health, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and help with many different tasks at home. For more information on the home care Douglas County seniors trust and rely on, call 720-287-1685 to speak with one of our experienced Care Managers and schedule a no-obligation consultation.