Nepal | February 24, 2020

Breast cancer up among men

Sabitri Dhakal

Kathmandu, October 25

More Nepali men are being diagnosed with breast cancer, conservatively believed to be a woman’s disease globally.

According to Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital, six men have undergone surgery for breast cancer since January 2019.

“Excessive exposure to radiation, increasing life expectancy, sedentary lifestyle, fatty diet, smoking, hormonal factors, alcohol intake and consumption of food with insecticides and pesticides are the major reasons for breast cancer in males,” said Dr Utsab Man Shrestha, surgical oncologist at the hospital.

Gender-wise incidence

Year

Breast cancer in men

Breast cancer in women

2014

2

171

2015

4

260

2016

3

325

2017

4

333

2018

1

320

2019 till now

6

261

Genetics is also a major reason for breast cancer in men. Anyone in the family with a history of cancer is likely to suffer from the disease. The risk of cancer increases with age, doctors say.

Everyone, including males, have lumps on their breast at birth. In some men, these lumps do not go away as they mature resulting in breast cancer. “If a male suffers from gynaecomastia or breast enlargement due to imbalance in testosterone and oestrogen levels, he should check for lumps or bleeding from the nipples as they can be early signs of breast cancer,” said Dr Manish Roy, surgical oncologist at Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital.

“Men generally do not assume they will develop breast cancer as it is a disease found mostly in women. So they may neglect the lumps in their breast,” added Shrestha. Men must be aware about symptoms of breast cancer which are similar to those among women — a painless lump in the breast/s, swelling of a part of the breast even when no lump is felt, pain in breast or nipple, change in breast size, nipple retraction (turning inward) and/or nipple discharge. Failure to treat the disease on time increases the size of the lump, leading to spread of cancer to other organs, said Roy. If there is discharge of pus mixed with blood from the nipple, medical advice must be sought, doctors said.

“Treatment can yield positive results if the disease is detected at an early stage,” said Dr Ujjwal Raj Chalise, an oncologist.


A version of this article appears in print on October 26, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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