By Lauren Pastrana


MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In October, we’re all asked to “Think Pink” for breast cancer awareness.

In fact, this coming Friday is “Wear It Pink” day to raise money for important breast cancer outreach and research.

And while men can certainly rock the pink, breast cancer is often thought of as a disease that only affects women.

But in today’s “Lauren’s List”, we break down the facts about men and breast cancer.

IDC
Of the men who develop breast cancer, the vast majority of those cases are Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), which means cells in or around the ducts begin to invade surrounding tissue. Very rarely, a man might be diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. Less than one percent of all breast cancer cases develop in men, and only one in a thousand men will ever be diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet male breast cancer patients have a 19% higher mortality rate than their diagnosed female counterparts, according to a recent study in JAMA Oncology.

Risk Factors
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, risk factors for male breast cancer include radiation exposure, high levels of the hormone estrogen, and a family history of breast cancer, especially breast cancer that is related to the BRCA-2 gene.

Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer can look the same in both men and women. Often times, it starts with the detection of a lump in the breast. Anyone who notices anything unusual about their breasts, whether male or female, should contact their physician immediately. Early detection is key.

Genetic Testing
Men who test positive for the defective BRCA-1 or BRAC-2 genes should know their children will have a 50% chance of carrying the gene. A male child of a man with breast cancer has about a six percent chance of developing breast cancer as well. But a female child of a man with breast cancer who inherits the defective gene sees her risk skyrocket to between 40 and 80 percent.

Do you know a man who has or had breast cancer?

Share their story with me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have any idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

Lauren Pastrana

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