Despite getting showered in pink every October in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is not purely a disease for women. Men have cells similar to women’s in the area behind their nipples and these cells can develop breast cancer. While most prevention campaigns are aimed at females, guys should get any changes in the area of their chest near their nipples checked out immediately. Peter Criss, the drummer for the legendary band KISS has gone public with his fight with breast cancer with the hope that more men will get any abnormalities checked out immediately. The symptoms of male breast cancer are very similar to those for females:
*lump or growth (usually not painful) near or behind the nipple
*bleeding from the nipple
*redness or rough skin near or on the nipple
In 2009, 440 men in the US will die from breast cancer while 1,910 new cases will be diagnosed. This is nearly 100 times fewer than the number of women who will be diagnosed but still very significant to the affected men and their families. The treatment for men is essentially the same as that for women and the survival rates are also very similar. However, for men to survive breast cancer, they must get diagnosed and treated and many men do not know they can get breast cancer or are embarrassed to admit they might have a disease associated with women. The death rate for untreated breast cancer is usually 100%, so men and their partners should be aware of the symptoms and see medical help if the notice anything suspicious.