11 Factors That Put You at Risk for Male Breast Cancer
Breast cancer isn't just a woman's disease. Men get it too, although not nearly as frequently. Thus, it's important to be aware of possible risk factors and talk to your doctor if you think they apply to your situation. A few risk factors for breast cancer in men include obesity, increasing age, liver disease, and a family history of the condition.
Although breast cancer is undeniably much more common in women, it can occur in men too. Because men typically aren't screened for it, male breast cancer probably isn't even on the radar for most doctors. As a result, it's especially important to for a man to know if he's at high risk for the disease, since he'll likely have to serve as his own advocate.
Keep reading for some of the known risk factors for male breast cancer (listed in no particular order).
WARNING: If you have an anxiety disorder or even if you just have a tendency to worry about health matters, please keep reading to the end of this article for a bit of perspective that can help put your mind at ease.
As with many other cancers, the risk for male breast cancer increases as a man ages. In fact, men are 68 years old, on average, when they are diagnosed.
Breast cancer can run in families. If you have a first-degree relative (male or female) with breast cancer, your chance of developing it is increased too. What is a first-degree relative? Mother, father, sister, brother, and children are all first-degree relatives.
However, just because you have no family history of breast cancer doesn't mean you're safe. In fact, only one out of every five men with breast cancer has a family history of the disease.
As you probably already know, estrogen is a female hormone. When men are given estrogen medications, this seems to increase their risk for breast cancer. Why would a man take an estrogen medication? Sometimes, estrogens are used to treat certain types of cancers (especially prostate cancer). Also, sometimes men are given estrogen medications in the process of gender transitioning.