The 10th Month is upon us. Actually its here. The same month in which Halloween is still a fun time to dress up and and look spooky and not get arrested. Well maybe not. Partially, the month of October is also a time to recognize two concerns: Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence. Now why would a male like me would be talking about or maybe getting pink and purple for the 10th month of October? Should that be a concern for Women than Men?

Show of hands (FOR THE MEN ONLY) How many of us had someone who we were, or are related to that has lost, or going though the phases of Breast Cancer? How many of us had or have those related to us that beat Breast Cancer? And check this, women don’t laugh at this, how many of us MEN that know other men, that has or had survived Breast Cancer? Now that last question is a bit strange, but it’s real talk.

According to the source from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the chances of MEN getting breast cancer is usually found in which highlights:

The male breast

Though boys and girls begin life with similar breast tissue, over time, men do not have the same complex breast growth and development as women. At puberty, high testosterone and low estrogen levels stop breast development in males. Some milk ducts exist, but they remain undeveloped, and lobules are most often absent. However, breast problems, including cancer, can occur in men.

Plus also:

Breast cancer in men

Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. In the U.S., about one percent of all breast cancer cases occur in men [42]. In 2013, it is estimated that among men in the U.S., there will be [38]:

  • 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer
  • 410 breast cancer deaths

Another example:

Survival rates for men are about the same as for women with the same stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis [42,67]. However, men are usually diagnosed at a later stage because they are less likely to report symptoms [42,67]. 

Warning signs of breast cancer in men

The most common sign of breast cancer in men is a painless lump or thickening in the breast or chest area [67]. However, any change in the breast or nipple can be a warning sign of breast cancer in men including [67-70]:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening in the breast, chest or underarm area (usually painless, but may be tender)
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin of the breast
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple (inverted nipple) or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge

As men tend to have much less breast tissue compared to women, some of these signs can be easier to notice in men than in women. These symptoms may also be signs of a benign (non-cancer) breast condition.

If you notice any of these signs or other changes in your breast, chest area or nipple, see your health care provider right away. Some men may be embarrassed about a change in their breast or chest area and put off seeing a provider, but this may result in a delay in diagnosis. Survival is highest when breast cancer is found early.

What kinds of Breast Cancer could effect men? (Again women, don’t laugh)

Types of breast cancer in men

For men (and women), most breast cancers begin in the milk ducts of the breast (invasive ductal carcinomas). Fewer than five percent of breast cancers in men begin in the lobulesof the breast (invasive lobular carcinoma) [71-72]. Learn more about the anatomy of the breast.

In rare cases, men can be diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancerductal carcinoma in situ (a non-invasive breast cancer) or Paget disease of the breast (Paget disease of the nipple) [67-69]. Paget disease of the breast is a cancer that begins in the milk ducts of the breast tissue, but spreads to the skin of the nipple. It can cause a scaly rash on the skin of the nipple. Although Paget disease of the breast is rare, it occurs more often in men than in women [69].

The types of Breast condition in which males could be effected?

Gynecomastia

The most common benign breast condition in men is gynecomastia (GUY-nuh-ko-MASS-tee-uh) (enlargement of the breast tissue). Gynecomastia results from a hormone imbalance in the body. Certain diseases, hormone use, obesity and other hormone changes can cause this imbalance [73]. For example, boys can get a temporary form of gynecomastia during puberty.

Gynecomastia does not need to be treated unless it is desired or it causes pain. In these cases, it can be treated with hormone therapy or surgery [73].

At this time, it is unclear whether gynecomastia is related to breast cancer. Although some data suggest it may increase the risk of breast cancer in men, most studies have found no link between the two [68,74-76]. 

What about risks, side effects?

Risk factors for breast cancer in men

Although some factors have been found to increase the risk of breast cancer in men, most men who are diagnosed have no known risk factors (except for older age). 

Age

Getting older increases the risk of breast cancer. Older age is the most common risk factor for breast cancer in both men and women. In men, breast cancer occurs most often between ages 65 and 67 (this is somewhat older than in women) [68]. 

Klinefelter’s syndrome

Klinefelter’s syndrome is a rare condition that occurs when men are born with two X chromosomes instead of one (XXY instead of XY). It is related to high levels of estrogen in the body [68,73-74]. Men with Klinefelter’s syndrome have a 20 to 50 times greater risk of breast cancer compared to men without this condition [68].

Men with Klinefelter’s syndrome may have gynecomastia (enlargement of the breast tissue). Although some data suggest gynecomastia may increase the risk of breast cancer in men, most studies have found no link between the two [68,74-76]. 

BRCA2 gene mutations

Men (and women) with an inherited BRCA2 (BReast CAncer 2) gene mutation have an increased risk of breast cancer [67-68,73-74]. Men can inherit a BRCA2 mutation from either parent. And, a man who has a BRCA2 mutation can pass the mutation on to both his sons and daughters.

Breast cancer in men is more likely than breast cancer in women to be related to an inherited gene mutation. Up to 40 percent of breast cancers in men may be related toBRCA2 mutations, while only five to 10 percent of breast cancers in women are considered to be due to a gene mutation [48,77]. So, it’s usually recommended that men diagnosed with breast cancer have genetic testing for possible BRCA2 mutations (learn more aboutgenetic testing).

Men who have a BRCA2 mutation have about a seven percent chance of developing breast cancer by age 70 [78]. (In comparison, women who have a BRCA2 mutation have a 40 to 60 percent chance of developing breast cancer by age 70 [79]). Men with a BRCA2 mutation are also at an increased risk for other types of cancer, such as prostate cancer.

Other genes are under study for a possible link to breast cancer in men [80].

So Breast Cancer  is not just a concern of Women, but on a minor concern, Men YES WE MALES can be a concern about this also. Just like colon checks. Women, you too, have be checked for the colons also. Just saying.  When the time comes, detection is an advantage if you want to live longer. Now I don’t know anyone personally that has Breast cancer, but one of my Church members is a Survivor.

Here’s something: Richard Roundtree, from Shaft is a Breast Cancer Survivor! Look it up. Breast Cancer is not just a female concern, but it’s also a male concern.

Now on to Domestic Violence.  

Time to talk about. Show of hands, how many of us MEN, have been effected by Domestic Violence through Women being the victims? We better raise our hands on this one. And the reason being that many of us should know. It’s not a joke. Usually the most Domestic Violence abuse cases are usually triggered by Men. No Shiznit. But however in rare cases (women hold your laughs on this) Women can play the aggressor in domestic violence on Men. Almost like Sexual Harassment. Remember that movie Disclosure, in which Michael Douglass’ character was being sexually abused. In which the character played by Demi Moore was the aggressor. Personally, I have a close relative, that was abused in the 80’s that was domestic. Reference Asha Family Services here  in Milwaukee. Remember that blog I wrote back in the summer about Domestic Violence, and about churches should get involved with the prevention portion of it. And remember when I commented the MALE side things in which Men have to understand Domestic Violence for a male concern? Remember that? If not, go back and read it. Now if those may not remember, or forgotten. Here is a refresher thing for catching up from Asha Family Services in Milwaukee:

1) Domestic Violence is a Crime!

2) Domestic Violence is one of the most COMPLEX issue on the planet;

3) DV is no respecter of persons! – it doesn’t matter if you are black, white, latino, straight, LGBT, poor, rich, or struggling in the Middle Class. It effects everyone!

4) There is help available!  – The US Department of Justice reports that women and girls comprise the largest group of victims at 87%, with males comprising the largest group of perpetrators whether the victim is female or male.

Where does it come from? How does it happen? It usually starts with learned behaviors through family origins. Such as, when a young male commits a DV Crime, and the question of others ask where does he get this attitude from? It’s usually starts with a parent like a father, or an uncle, or a grandparent. Another could be through observation, the culture, reinforcement, community and many other elements. Health issues like stress, genetics, illness, or relationship issues can also contribute to Domestic Violence. According to the State of Wisconsin, Domestic Violence is defined as this: “The international infliction of or threat to inflict physical pain, physical injury, illness, impairment of physical condition, sexual contact or sexual intercourse without consent.”

And the three main factors from abusers: Physical, Emotional and Sexual.

Physical:  in sense of using weapons, bear hugging, Slapping, biting, Rape and making threats of killing you or a loved one.

Emotional: Forces you to sit in his presence. (or to paraphrase) or her presence. , Mindgames, Attacking verbally, calls or texts you repeatably all day, Insults your values, beliefs, religion, race, heritage or class, refuses to socialize with you and your family and friends, refuses to pay the bills or having their loved one or partner to pay the bills in a demanding fashion, tantrums like throwing things, drop papers or clothing. Plus manipulation.

Sexual: Rape, angrily jealous, gets angry if the partner or loved one in the relationship doesn’t want to have sex when he (or she) wants it, call you names like whore, b*tch, extorting unwanted sexual acts, insists of unwanting touching, and having multiple affairs.

Are we caught up yet? Especially for a month like this. At this rate, it’s all about Power and Control.

So I think it’s high time that both Awareness of Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence need to recognized closely. All organizations, no matter if it’s church, radio, television, newspaper, non profit, government, or if you just own your own blog, recognize BOTH Concerns of Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer. Already today, V100 had a day to recognize those who are going through, or lost, or survived Breast Cancer. It was called “Sista Strut”. I’m sure many cities have heard of it annually. Have BOTH a “pink-purple party for awareness” in October. Recognize the pink for BC and purple for DV. It’s not just a concern for African-Americans. No matter your background or status. It effects everyone. Literally all year long.

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