5+Treatment for Breast Cancer in Males 2021
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Treatment for breast cancer in males
Breast cancer is a disease where normal breast cells turn rogue and start dividing at an exponential rate. Most of the time, the reason for male breast cancer occurrence is linked to inherited faulty genes, high estrogen levels, or excessive radiation. Moreover, several risk factors have the potential to trigger breast cancer in males as well as females. Men rarely develop breast cancer as they have a small amount of breast tissue and very low levels of female hormones. Read more about the causes of breast cancer in males.
Nowadays, the diagnostic criteria for breast cancer have improved many folds that help treat the patient accordingly. There are different types of treatment for breast cancer in males. Some of the treatments are currently used, while others are still being evaluated in trials. Right now, we will highlight the 5 different types of treatments in breast cancer treatment.
Surgical removal of breast tissue
The cancerous (malignant) tissue is first identified and then surgically removed. Most of the time, a surgical procedure named modified radical mastectomy is performed. In this surgery, the breast, lymph nodes under the arm, outer lining of the chest muscles, and sometimes, chest wall muscles are also removed due to the cancer severity. This treatment of breast cancer in males is usually recommended in the early stages of cancer.
Another surgical procedure is breast conservation surgery, in which the focus is only to remove cancerous cells, not the whole breast. Lumpectomy (lump removal) is performed to remove the lump located in the breast with surrounding normal tissue. Radiation therapy sessions are conducted afterward to kill any remaining tumor cells.
In the list of treatment for cancer in males, chemotherapy is one option which kills or stops the growth of cancerous cells through various pharmacological drugs. The drugs used for treatment are either injected into the muscle, vein, or are taken orally. After entering the bloodstream, therapeutic cancer-killing drugs spread throughout the body, destroying cancerous cells along the way. No doubt, chemotherapy has the potential to kill tumor cells, but normal cells and organs also get affected. Besides, side effects like hair loss, fatigue, constipation, anemia, and appetite changes develop in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
It is a breast cancer treatment focused on lowering or stopping the production of hormones altogether. This treatment of breast cancer in males can resolve the problem with hormone imbalance. There are specific hormones within the body that can easily attach to specialized sites called receptors on the tumor cells. When attached, the hormones increase the rate of cancer cell growth and proliferation. Lab tests can identify the influence of hormones on cancer. After the confirmation of hormone involvement, adequate hormone therapy is advised. Below are various types of such therapies used to treat different breast cancers.
- Hormone therapy with tamoxifen: Estrogen-receptor, as well as progesterone-receptor positive breast cancer in males, are recommended tamoxifen.
- Aromatase inhibitor therapy: This hormone therapy is an appropriate treatment for breast cancer in males, which has spread throughout the body. Aromatase is an enzyme produced naturally in the body that converts androgens (male hormones) into estrogen (female hormone). These inhibitors indirectly decrease the levels of estrogen by blocking the aromatase enzyme. A few examples of aromatase inhibitors include anastrozole and letrozole.
- Hormone therapy with LHRH: Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist therapy is also used for patients whose cancer has metastasized (spread all over the body).
When discussing the treatment for breast cancer in males, radiation therapy has an important role in stopping the spread of cancer. X-rays and other forms of radiation are advised according to breast cancer severity and the extent of cancer spread.
Specifically, tumor cells are killed or removed using this therapy. Drugs or other therapeutic substances are used, which are safer than chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In this therapy, the drugs are used only to target the cancerous cells without harming normal cells. There are a plethora of targeted therapy types like tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor therapy, monoclonal antibody therapy, and others which are advised to treat the different types of breast cancer diagnosed in men.
Within the healthcare domain, numerous other treatment options are recommended accordingly. However, complete treatment for breast cancer in males is best achieved when the cancer is identified and diagnosed on time. Cancer at the early stages is localized. This means that the cancer cells are present at one location or area of the body. Early treatment is carried out through initial surgery followed by adjuvant therapy. We have already discussed the initial surgery procedures that include modified radical mastectomy and breast conservation therapy.
Adjuvant therapy can be understood as an after treatment for breast cancer in males. Even if each one of the tumor cells is removed by the surgery, adjuvant therapy is recommended and carried out. This is necessary as it ensures, cancer does not spread.
The treatment for breast cancer in males is made easy when the person is self-aware of his health. Health checkups and appropriate lab tests recommended by your doctor should never be skipped or delayed. There is nothing wrong with seeking advice from a healthcare professional if you ever feel concerned about your health status. Nowadays, there are numerous lab tests and diagnostic procedures which have made it easy for doctors to identify such diseases on time. Talk to your healthcare provider if you feel symptoms of breast cancer like a lump in the breast, redness around the nipple area, or any other skin change.
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