Monday, July 24, 2006

Breast cancer. It's not just about the girls.

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Kylie Minogue's battle with breast cancer has been in the news a great deal over the past year. It's great that people like Kylie and Belinda Emmett have gone public with their health problems to spread awareness of this disease and drive home the fact that breast cancer can affect much younger women too. After all, approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Australia alone.

However, did you know that around 100 men a year in Australia are also diagnosed with breast cancer? Surprised me. Horrified many of my male friends who didn't even realise men could get breast cancer.

While there's many excellent resources out there for women, the issues faced by men with a breast cancer diagnosis can be quite different. In the provision of information about this condition, men have been largely forgotten.

“It’s understandable that men diagnosed with breast cancer could feel a deep sense of isolation when so much of the information and support available is targeted towards women."
Dr Helen Zorbas, Director of the National Breast Cancer Centre.

Until now.

The National Breast Cancer Centre (NBCC) has set up a website for men with breast cancer in acknowledgement that diagnosis can be devastating for anyone. The site incorporates information specifically targeted at men, with signs and symptoms, methods of diagnosis, treatment options and many other useful resources.

Excellent stuff. As is the case with women, The National Breast Cancer Centre urges any man who notices a change in the look or feel of his breast to see his GP without delay. A very important message. Pass it along to the men in your life.


JohnWNick Foundation
NBCC Press Release


Alison said...

It's a good site and reassuring to know that this 'silent' group can now be given some attention. It reminds me a little of men with depression and how isolated they feel and how reluctant they are in talking about it to anyone, often with the most tragic of results.

jumpinginpuddles said...

about time also, breasts are the same in men and women made up of fatty tissue that can get lumps, breast cancer is universal men and women, great blog

The Little Student said...

Great post, I always appreciate when someone points out something which should be obvious, but isn't. Thanks again Healthpsych.

Also, thank you for the reference on IBS. Very interesting.

healthpsych said...

Hi Alison,
I agree. That's why I think the idea of Men's Health Week is so important. However, I think they need to promote it a little more because most people I know were unaware of it.

great points. Some men I know are very resistant to the idea that they have 'breasts!'

Hi Caleb,
It seemed like a good initiative and one that needed publicising a little and regarding the article, you're welcome. Wasn't sure if it would be useful so I'm pleased to hear it was :)

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Great info here!!!!!!

fjl said...

Yes, it's a clear sexist attitude that we can't be bothered to appreciate what men go through in this situation. Very good post.

emmy said...

The sad thing is that while early detection is making breast cancer easier to treat in women, men aren't aware that they can get it. When they are diagnosed with it the are usually already in advanced stages. Then while they are facing tramatic treatment or even death they are forced to hang out with "us girls". In support groups a lot of the issues men face are the same that we are facing, but they definately do have a lot more to deal with.

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Anonymous said...

Breast Cancer men
Common Breast Cancer Myths

The first myth pertaining to this disease is that it only affects women.

Second myth that is associated with this disease is that if one has found a lump during an examination, it is cancer.

Third is that it is solely hereditary

The next myth associated with breast cancer is downright ridiculous. Would you believe, that in this day and age, some individuals still think that breast cancer is contagious?

Conversely, some individuals foolishly believe that breast size determines whether or not one gets cancer.

Finally, another myth that is associated with this disease is that it only affects older people. This is not so. Although the chance of getting breast cancer increases with age, women as young as 18 have been diagnosed with the disease.

You can find a number of helpful informative articles on Breast Cancer men at

Breast Cancer men