On Father’s Day you’re probably thinking about the family of men in your life. In addition to your father or father in law or husband, you probably send wishes to sons, brothers, uncles, friends and neighbors. This Father’s Day would be a great opportunity to help make them all aware that breast cancer is not just a woman’s disease.
How many men are diagnosed with male breast cancer? The percentage is small, but is even a small number not important enough? Because it is few, does this mean we should ignore the possibility? For a large percentage of the men diagnosed, it is often more fatal since no one is looking, it is found much later and more progressed. The first step for HIS is to bring awareness. We talk about different diseases and tragedies all the time with our families, so why not discuss Male Breast Cancer? Although it may not appear as such due to its low numbers for men, it’s still equally as difficult when a female has to verbalize they have breast cancer. No matter how you look at it-it’s a life threatening disease and male or female, once diagnosed with breast cancer, your life is never the same.
Men can carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations and can be at increased risk for certain cancers. While cancer risks in male BRCA mutation carriers are not as dramatically elevated as those of female BRCA mutation carriers, cancer risk management and early detection are crucial. It is important for both men and women to remember that a family history of breast, ovarian, prostate or pancreatic cancers on their father’s side of the family may indicate a hereditary gene mutation. Many people mistakenly believe a family history of breast or ovarian cancer only matters on their mother’s side of the family. Men can inherit a BRCA gene mutation from their mother or father and can pass on their BRCA gene mutation to their male and female children.
Do the men in your life conduct self-breast exams? Probably not! So who’s checking? This most likely doesn’t take place at their annual physical examination, no one is suggesting a yearly mammogram, and when was the last time they were given an instruction sheet on how to check them-self?
Looking for the right gift? You might just save a life! So start with a simple gift this Father’s Day. Print the self-breast exam instructions below, laminate on your favorite paper, frame it, or present it with that perfect tie inside the box. At HIS Breast Cancer Awareness you can also shop for Male Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts, wristbands, lapel pins or send a donation card in honor of the special men in your life for Father's Day
Make Father’s Day the perfect reminder time for all men to take a minute out of their day, right after breakfast in bed, to examine their breast (yes men do have breast). It just may be the best Father's Day gift they'll ever receive because it shows how much you really care. Thinking of you dad and missing you always but especially on Father's Day. We love you xoxo
Modah Ani- I am Thankful
Editor; Vicki Wolf, Co-Founder
How To: 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. Raise your arms above your head and continue to examine your breast and arm pit 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 breast.
Step 3: In addition to standing, you can also examine your breast lying down. To do so, place a pillow under your right shoulder and bend your right arm over your head. Then with your 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.
offering insight and education on male breast cancer
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