Information & Support
Exploring examination, self checks, mamograms, ultrasound & MRI testing
Male Breast Cancer Examination
Do the men in your life conduct self-breast exams? Probably not. So, who’s checking?
A breast exam is not likely to occur at their annual checkups, rarely is a yearly mammogram suggested, and it’s doubtful that they were given an instruction sheet on how to check themselves. HIS Breast Cancer Awareness is working to change this! The following illustrates how a man should check for breast cancer, just as women do. Share this important information and you may help save a life.
How to Perform a Male Self-Breast Exam
Step 1: Begin by standing in front of a mirror with your arms on your hips to tighten your chest muscles and inspect yourself. Watch for any changes such as dimpling, swelling and areas around the nipple or if the nipple becomes inverted. Raise your arms above your head and continue to examine your breast and armpit areas.
Step 2: Move around the breast in a circular motion with the fingertips. You can perform this in either an up and down method, a circular or a wedge pattern, but try to be consistent using the same method each time. In addition, check the nipple area for any discharge. Complete on both breasts.
Step 3: In addition to standing, you can also examine your breasts lying down. To do so, place a pillow under your right shoulder and bend your right arm over your head. Then, with the fingertips on your left hand, begin checking by pressing all areas of the breast and armpit. Once completed on the right, move the pillow to under your left shoulder and repeat the same process.
In addition you can request to have your physician perform a breast check during your annual physical. A male can get a mammogram. Size doesn't matter!
At this time there is limited insurance coverage for routine check ups for a male to have a mammogram for prevention. If there is a family history or genetic testing (see Genetics below) has determined there is a high risk, then a mammogram would be helpful in the detection of early onset breast cancer. Having a baseline mammogram performed would be recommended. Hopefully routine mammograms for the male will become a regular screening tool and one that HIS is in full support of lobbying for.
The same goes for UltraSound and breast MRI. Depending on your risk factors, sometimes the MRI is used alternately every 6 months with a mammogram for yearly screenings.