Self Breast Exam for Men
Men, let’s talk about self breast examination!
Male breast cancer is often diagnosed when it is much further progressed because no one is checking for early detection. We’re here to teach you how!
Yes, October is breast cancer awareness month and surrounded by the color pink.
It's great seeing so many informative posts and articles helping to educate, especially sharing information and guidance on self breast exams. Statistics show that 64% of women with a cancer diagnosis are discovered by women doing their own self check.
Women are shown how to check their breasts from their gynecologist, other medical doctors, moms, etc., and even the best time of the month to perform this check. It’s simple, it’s free, it’s always available and over time, the more you check, the more you get to learn, feel and know your own for easier detection.
What IS missing during this pink breast cancer awareness month is blue too! Yes, MEN have breasts, they have breast tissue and they can and should be shown how to complete a breast exam. Men are not receiving routine mammograms, ultrasounds or MRI’s so who is checking?
When a man sees his physician for his yearly physical, his doctor could be talking to him about breast health, teaching him how to check for any lumps, dimpling, nipple discharge or any other noticeable changes. While this important information should be taught to all men, it’s especially critical for their doctor knowing his patient’s family history or any genetic mutations that he could be at a higher risk for a breast cancer diagnosis.There can be a higher percentage of male breast cancer diagnosis in people of ashkenazi jewish background as well as black and latino men however breast cancer does not discriminate. Unfortunately discussing breast cancer risk with men is not a common protocol like heart health, diabetes and prostate cancer.
So how does a man perform a self breast examination? The same way a woman does! Women, this is where it’s important to share and teach. Show the men in your life how it’s done, make it part of your monthly schedule to remind him. You can each take 5 minutes and check your breasts together at the same time. Below is a diagram with step by step instructions women and men can use or click here.
A lump can be located in or near the breast or underarm. If a lump is cancerous, it is more likely to be hard, immobile, irregularly shaped and may not cause pain. Remember, any noticeable changes to your breast should be discussed with your doctor. IF your doctor does not suggest further evaluation, remember not everyone is aware that male breast cancer exists. Be your own advocate and insist on further diagnostics. Don’t wait till it’s too late because early detection can be life saving for women and men.
October is pink & blue.
Modeh Ani- I am thankful
Vicki Singer Wolf
Co-founder of HIS Breast Cancer Awareness