Thursday, January 27, 2011
Whoa! #MiloFuzeJamPack is having a contest and to start off, all you gotta do is tag your friends with respective personalities. I know who is going to be my Pretty!
Whoa! #MiloFuzeJamPack is having a contest and to start off, all you gotta do is tag your friends with respective personalities. I know who is going to be my Pretty!
by: Amy Otis, RN
Testicular Self-exam; do it Every Month!
Cancer of the testicles accounts for only about one percent of all cancers in men. BUT, it is the most common type of cancer in males ages 16 to 35, and it can occur anytime after age fifteen.
Often, only one testicle is affected. The cause of testicular cancer is still unknown. Risk factors, however, have been found. These include:
Uncorrected undescended testicles in infants and young children. (Parents should make sure that their infant boys are checked at birth for undescended testicles.)
A family history of testicular cancer. (If you don’t know, ask.)
Having an identical twin with testicular cancer.
Injury to the scrotum or to a testicle.
It’s five times more common among Caucasian than Black males.
What is Testicular Self-Exam? (TSE)
The TSE is a method for men to check their testicles to make sure there aren't any unusual bumps or lumps, which may be the first sign of testicular cancer. Sometimes cancer of the testicles will spread, so it’s very important to detect it early so that the cancer doesn't become more serious. The Tour de France winner and great cyclist Lance Armstrong beat testicular cancer, but he ignored symptoms for a long time and nearly died from it since it spread so much.
July 25, 2004 -- Update: Lance Armstrong wins his 6th consecutive Tour de France!
How Do I Do A TSE?
If you have any lumps or swelling, it does not necessarily mean you have cancer, but you must be checked by your health care provider. If detected and treated early , testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers.
Warning Signs of A Problem
In the early stages, testicular cancer may have no symptoms. When there are symptoms, they include:
Remember that testicular cancer is highly curable, especially when detected and treated early. Testicular cancer almost always occurs in only one testicle and the other testicle is all that is needed for full sexual function. Routine testicular self-exams are important, but they cannot substitute for a health care provider's examination. That person should examine your testicles when you have a physical exam. You can also ask them to teach you the correct way to do a TSE. Here’s to your health! Carpe Diem!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
CT Fox, Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist
EXERCISE AND CANCER by CT Fox, Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist
â€œYou have cancer.â€ These words rip through your entire being with the horrendous force of an atomic blast. Suddenly, everything is inside-out, upside-down. Your mind tries to wrap itself around this new and frightening reality. The somber-faced doctor looking at you from across his desk surely must have you mistaken for somebody else. How can this be? Are you kidding me? Will I die? Once having worked through the myriad of denials, when the acceptance of the news finally settles in, it does so with gut-wrenching agony.
You have entered a new and foreign world. Life is now no longer just about getting the kids ready for school, walking the dog, dropping off the laundry, planning dinner for the family, cleaning the house, meeting deadlines, spending time with friends, or the minutia of daily living. Life is now also about survival.
The speed at which things begin to happen can be terrifying. You quickly have to make some decisions regarding treatment that will move your life in a direction you never anticipated. Your life may seem like it is spinning completely out of control. â€œOverwhelmedâ€ is an inadequate word for the experience.
There is nothing that can totally remove the fear and the shock of discovering that you have cancer. You can, however, do something significant that will help you regain the feeling of being in control of your life, your body, and your destiny EXERCISE!
You might be tired, depressed, frustrated, drained, worn-out, and have limited strength and functional capacity. Activities of daily living might become an unimaginable challenge. Good news; moderate physical exercise has been proven to help fight the possible physical and emotional side effects of cancer and associated treatment. It can be part of your personal recipe
for living stronger.
EXERCISE, your weapon, can help you make significant improvement in the following areas; stamina, functional capacity, strength, range of motion and flexibility, treatment tolerance, self-esteem, self-confidence, increased ability to perform activities of daily living.. Exercise can also help decrease pain, decrease depression and total mood disturbances, reduce sleep problems, anxiety, nausea, and cancer related fatigue. Quite simply, it can help you get your life back.
It has long been thought that staying active can lower the risk of getting cancer, but new findings
show that it can also be a valuable prescription for recovery.
A recent study, released March 2004, done by Brigham and Womenâ€™s Hospital in Boston,
found that women who exercised after breast cancer reduced their chance of dying from the disease by one-quarter to one-half, depending on their level of activity.
Although there are many expert theories, it is biologically unclear as to how exercise
accomplishes this feat. Researchers do agree that moderate activity is an unquestionably
safe recommendation and that it can have a myriad of benefits.
For breast cancer survivors, getting back normal range of motion in the affected arm can be challenging, at best. The surgical arm can feel extremely tight. Simple tasks, such as reaching
a high kitchen cabinet can prove to be difficult.
Presumably, after surgery for breast cancer, the surgeon will refer the patient to a Cancer Exercise Specialist (or a physical therapist trained to work with breast cancer patients) for initial
assessment of range of motion, lymphedema precaution instructions, and exercise education.
If the surgeon has not offered that as a viable option to you, ask about it.
A Cancer Exercise Specialist can put together an exercise program that is tailored to your individual needs and limitations. A regimen of progressive milestones will undoubtedly provide you with a sense of accomplishment and confidence, as well as bolster your self-esteem.
The goals of your exercise program should include; increasing your energy levels; improve your posture by stretching tight muscles and strengthening muscles that are weak; increase your range of motion through stretching and movement exercises that emphasize your upper body, and
improving your quality of life by enhancing your physical and mental condition.
When you begin an exercise program, do not be discouraged if you find that you tire easily. Fighting and surviving cancer, takes emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental energy.
You might also find that certain movements cause you discomfort. Working through slight
discomfort is acceptable, but you should never try and work through any kind of pain.
Being consistent with your program will assist you in getting past these issues. It will also provide you with benefits you may not have even imagined possible when you were first diagnosed with cancer.
â€œKeeping up with a regular exercise program is great for my mental health.â€ It gives me something to look forward to, breaks up the monotony of my house-bound days, and gives me more energy. It helps me maintain a better self-image to see the positive changes in my body.
I feel strong and in control.
I believe that keeping physically active and keeping myself strong are going to help me fight and beat this not unconquerable enemy. Somebody has to beat the odds. There is absolutely no reason why it wonâ€™t be me.â€
CJB â€“ Stage IV uterine cancer
Hold close to your heart the fact that while cancer may have invaded your body, it does not have to invade your spirit.
Monday, January 17, 2011
by: Jacob Mabille
One of the best things you can do for your health is to know how to detect diabetes before it becomes an even bigger problem in your life by not taking care of it. Believe it or not there are quite a few people out there who donâ€™t exactly know what diabetes is. Diabetes is a disorder characterized by hyperglycemia or elevated blood glucose (blood sugar). When the amount of sugar in our blood runs too low or too high it is quite typical for anyone to not feel very well. Diabetes is a term generally used when speaking of a person who has a blood sugar level that is consistently high. Millions of Americans have diabetes; however most of them do not realize it. In the long term diabetes can cause complications concerning the kidneys, eyes, heart, nerves and blood vessels.
There are two types of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes (insulin deficiency) means there is not enough insulin being produced. Type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) occurs when there is plenty of insulin being produced but cells in our bodies are very resistant to itâ€™s action, which in turn causes your blood sugar to consistently be high.
The most common symptoms of hyperglycemia, otherwise known as diabetes, would be frequently hungry, frequently thirsty and frequently urinating. Apart from those symptoms other symptoms that may occur are fatigue, weight loss, blurred vision, wounds healing more slowly, dry mouth, impotence, dry/itchy skin and recurrent infections.
Even though diabetes may sound like a horrible disease it can be easy to live with. The key to doing that is to take care of yourself. Many people do not take care of themselves because they refuse to admit there is something wrong with them health wise. They wonâ€™t even admit it to themselves. So, what happens when they do this? They try to survive without taking medication(s) they need or doing anything in their life to help keep their bodies healthy. Donâ€™t do this. The only thing it can lead to is an unhealthy body, physically and mentally, and possibly depression in the long run.
If you wish to watch your blood sugar, whether you are diabetic or not, there are many things you can do at home. Purchase a blood glucose monitor. This can easily be purchased at your local pharmacy or online. There are websites that will tell you how high and or low your blood glucose level should be, though your blood glucose monitor should come with an instruction manual which supplies this information as well. One of the best things a diabetic can do is exercise and eat properly. Not only does exercise help to keep your body in good condition on the outside but it helps on the inside as well. However, if you are a diabetic do not do anything involving weight training. Studies suggest that this can affect your blood glucose level by increasing it.
If you wish to learn more about diabetes look up the American Diabetes Association online.
by: Damian Muirhead
Dear reader, Thank you for taking the time out to read this article from the Overcoming Hypoglycemia Ezine Also accompanying this Ezine is the Overcoming Hypoglycemia website which can be found at http://www.hypoglycemia-diet-plan.com as well as the Overcoming Hypoglycemia Ebook which you can find out more about at: http://www.hypoglycemia-diet-plan.com/hypoglycemia-ebook-information.html
Ok so lets get started! Are you actually Hypoglycemic?
The first thing you probably need to know is if you are actually hypoglycemic and how it is possible to find out for sure. There are 3 main ways people normally find out if they are hypoglycemic these are: 1)A Glucose Tolerance Test.
2)Diagnosis from a doctor/nutritionist
3)Self diagnosis based on questionnaire and observation of symptoms
Now each of these methods have their advantages and disadvantages but due to the fact that less and less qualified doctors seem to be recognising Hypoglycemia as a legitimate condition more and more people are forced to rely on self diagnosis.
In this Ezine edition I wanna focus on method three: self diagnosis.
Self Diagnosis Self Diagnosis means just that, making an informed decision yourself as to whether or not you actually have hypoglycemia. The main way of doing this is based on your symptoms. The easiest way to begin to self diagnose is make a list of the symptoms you get which you feel are related to your diet. These symptoms could be many but list them all down. Probable symptoms include headaches tiredness and cravings for sweet foods. When you have listed these symptoms compare them to the ones found at:
http://www.hypoglycemia-diet-plan.com and http://www.hypoglycemia-diet-plan.com/hypoglycemia-diagnosis.html
If you have at least three of these symptoms then Hypoglycemia seems probable. It is of course not possible to diagnose solely on a few symptoms, for a more detailed and accurate way of determining whether or not you have Hypoglycemia check out my ebook at:
http://www.hypoglycemia-diet-plan.com/hypoglycemia-ebook-information.html where you find all the tools you need to both diagnose and beat your Hypoglycemia including important reasons why it is not necessary to put yourself through a gruelling Glucose Tolerance Test to find out whether or not you have Hypoglycemia.
So Until next time
PS: In my next issue ill be informing you of the foods you MUST avoid in order to beat your hypoglycemia. But if you can't wait until then grab your copy of my ebook today! PPS I have reduced my book from $39.95 to $19.95 for a limited time only so grab yours ASAP to get the reduced price!!!
Sign up for this Ezine at: http://www.hypoglycemia-diet-plan.com
Monday, January 10, 2011
Unbelievably Effective Weight Gain Tips That Gave Me More Curves In Less Than A Month
Thursday, January 6, 2011
by: Byron J. Richards, Founder/Director of Wellness Resources, Inc.
Exercise is vital to conditioning your body to have an efficient immune response. Hundreds of studies on exercise and immunity have been conducted. In general, the more fit you are the better your immune system works. At the same time, higher amounts of exercise place increased demands on your immune system. Working out or performing significant exercise at the same time your body is trying to fight off the flu could make you more susceptible to getting sick. Thus, it is a good idea to understand exercise in the context of your immune system.
Muscles as Part of Your Immune SystemMuscles themselves are actually part of your immune system and are used as the primary savings account of protein to assist in the proliferation of immune cell troops once a battle is on. It is obvious to anyone who has been through a nasty flu for a week or longer that their muscles are weaker and they have less strength. This is because muscle protein is used to fight infection.
Muscle fitness not only implies better protein reserves, it also signifies a generally better immune response potential. Comparing the muscles of the elderly to younger people finds that the rate of protein synthesis declines in proportion to the baseline amount of inflammatory signals like TNFa and IL6. A baseline elevation of these inflammatory signals reduces optimal immune function, as explained in my article, Using Nutrition to Perceive and Combat Swine Flu.
In other words, the lack of vitality in unfit muscle reflects higher baseline immune-disrupting inflammation – which when added to other forms of existing inflammation (obesity, too much stress, lack of sleep, aches and pains, etc) add up to a reduced immune response. Conversely, twenty minutes of strength training three times a week in elderly individuals helps their muscles respond in a more youthful manner.
A study on centenarians indicated that those who maintained functional numbers of NK killer cells vital to front line immunity against the flu had better muscle mass, thyroid function, and vitamin D status.
The most important calorie for muscles is protein. Elderly women on a low protein diet compared to an adequate protein diet have noticeably lacking muscles with concurrent impaired immune response.
It is generally true that the more muscle mass you have entering a flu season the better your baseline immune response and the greater your ability to sustain a battle against a nasty flu.
How Exercise Can Hamper ImmunityThe benefits of exercise occur by conditioning your muscles, aerobic system, and inflammatory system to be fit. The potential risk of exercise is that you break down muscle in the process of conditioning them, a process that requires inflammation in the name of future improvement.
Athletes are known to struggle with immune function, especially those who are really pushing their body to an elite level of fitness. Illness is as common as injury in the athletes who fail to make their bid to be in the Olympics.
Exercise places demands on protein supplies to rejuvenate muscles and the process of exercise uses up antioxidants. Antioxidants and protein are vital keys to immune function. If your reverses are run low by exercising you may not be in a good position to mount a proper immune response.
The amount of dietary protein in general is very important. I recommend ½ your ideal weight in grams of protein per day for an average exerciser, up to ¾ your ideal weight in grams of protein per day for a routine exerciser, and more than that for an athlete.
The failure to have enough dietary protein can send your muscles into a highly inflamed catabolic state, meaning that muscle tissue is breaking down too fast. In an athlete this is caused by overtraining. In the average American this is caused by a lack of use or doing exercise without enough protein and antioxidants.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Numerous studies show that the amino acid glutamine is the vital amino acid that determines whether your muscles will break down excessively (inflammatory and catabolic) or rejuvenate and repair (anabolic and fitness). Glutamine is also the most important amino acid for the rapid production of immune cell troops. It was recently demonstrated that glutamine significantly boosted the function of immune troops within your digestive tract. Remember, the swine flu will incubate in your gut before it moves to your respiratory system.
When scientists induce experimental spinal cord injury it results in lack of muscle (due to a lack of nerve stimulation of muscle), in turn severely compromising immunity. These researchers found that a low level of the amino acid glutamine is a key maker for suppressed immunity.
The loss of muscle mass in well-conditioned astronauts during a long mission occurs in conjunction with depleted cell-mediated immunity (adaptive higher-powered immunity). This is one more example that shows the link between muscle health and immunity. I can think of no example of someone with poor muscle function and superior immunity. Conversely, using glutamine to restore weakened muscles helps immunity.
Overweight individuals are often making an effort to exercise more intensely so as to lose weight. However, new science shows they must have adequate antioxidants because their out-of-shape muscles make free radicals too easily. The baseline inflammation of an overweight person is also a risk factor for the swine flu. Overweight people who get in a good weight loss trend with improving muscle fitness will have better immunity – as long as they get adequate dietary protein for healthy weight loss while taking extra antioxidants so as to get an improved response to the exercise.
It is actually a good thing to push your body a bit with exercise for optimal health results. For example, pushing aerobics releases BDNF and repair signals that build new brain cells and help repair existing problems. Pushing strength training will build muscle. Just do it right and be more careful not to overdue during the flu season, especially if you are on the verge of fighting a bug.
Children on sports teams need to pay special attention to these factors. If your child knows he/she is fighting something off, it is generally better to sit out a practice/game or two than to spend the next two weeks in bed. If you keep your child adequate in protein, antioxidants, and glutamine in particular, the potential problems of lots of exercise to their immune system can be reduced.
What to Do if You are Fighting a BugThe modification of an exercise program is required as soon as you can sense you are fighting off a bug of any kind, including the flu. Exercise is energy intense and inflammatory. Your immune system is energy intense and inflammatory. Both systems use the same raw materials and many of the same functions (albeit for different reasons). If you make your body perform a higher level output of exercise when you are beginning to feel sick, it will create a handicap in your immune response that is likely to speed the onset of an illness.
It is very clear that the 48-hour recovery period following intense exercise is a time of immune suppression, not what you want if you need to fight a bug during that time. This is most likely a system your body uses to prevent an autoimmune reaction against inflamed tissues following exercise. However, this mechanism will clearly get in the way of the short-term need of fighting a flu bug.
Sometimes the first symptoms of a flu bug are subtle and not even recognized as pending flu. This could be an unusual tiredness (energy already being deployed to immunity), a mild sore throat (a key location for viral flare-up symptoms), or stiffness in the calf muscles (the first sign of excess lactic acid production from viral activity). Other times the symptoms are more obvious and you can tell you are fighting something that has its first toehold in you.
If you feel this way you should not do a significant aerobic workout, strength training, or any excessive output of physical energy. Cut back on your activities, go for a walk, stretch – but do not do a lot even if you are generally conditioned to do so and it is part of your regular exercise routine. This is a good time to really boost up your immune support nutrients.
Other basic tips in this precarious time of initial flare up are to minimize anything stressful, do not eat any sugar (especially between meals), do not eat any junk food (especially chips or fries), do not drink any alcohol, and ensure you get adequate sleep.
Your immune system prefers to work at night so that it is not in conflict with your daily energy activities. However, when you are fighting a bug your immune system must become active during the day to protect you. This process has many inherent conflicts, but is vital to your survival. Give your immune system the chance to do its job by not getting in its way or depleting its function with a round of intensive exercise.
The moral of the story is to cut back at the first signs of fighting a bug, which often means it will be out of your body in a day or two with a very mild visit. If you do it right you can save yourself a week or two of downtime
by: John Wiliams
In this post, my mission is to show some basic steps used in the practice of handling cellulitis skin infection. Cellulitis is a very usual medical condition of the skin and soft tissue, it can cause the following symptoms : redness, inflammation, heat the affected regions of the body and usually hurts to touch the involved part of the skin and deeper tissues.
The aim of handling this medical condition is to reduce the strength of inflammation and severity of the infection, reducing and complete removal of the pain caused by infection and the removal of other unpleasant signs, speed up the convalescence procedure and finally prevent the return of this rather dangerous skin disease. In most cases of cellulitis infection is treated with antibiotics (if the patient is not allergic to the medication). It is very crucial when you first visit a medical adviser to tell him if you are allergic to any form of drug, especially because many of antibiotics include penicillin just as one of its ingredients.
Antibiotics as a means of treating cellulitis medical condition of the skin and deeper tissue is commonly taken by word of mouth and intravenously (depending on the hardness and degree of disease).
Mild cases of cellulitis infection are processed orally with antibiotics, the treatment period lasts 10-14 days. During this period, it is crucial to take the prescribed medication till the end of therapy and never skip or stop taking the medication before than the scheduled period. It is usual for the visible symptoms of disease to withdraw after a short period of therapy, although infection is not completely recovered, so it's significant to take the regular dose of medication to the last tablet.
If the medical adviser decides to handle cellulitis intravenously and keep the patient in the infirmary, we assume that it is moderate or harder case cellulitis skin infection. It is significant to emphasize that this type of infection can uncontrollably spread throughout the body very rapidly and really strong. In that case, it can be very dangerous to the health, even life of the patient. Precisely because of these causes, the medical adviser will keep the patient in the infirmary (usually 3-5 days) and then release him to household care.
It is significant to control the disease in certain proportions so the patient may turn to home care.
After free to home care, check ups are every three days, then as the doctors determines needed. Any changes in the skin during the intervention at household, which leads to worsening of the signs of infection, and other changes that may be due to infection must be immediately reported to a doctor. If the doctor is unavailable immediately go to the nearest hospital for exam.
Cellulitis disease of the skin and deeper tissue is very common and there are drugs that successfully suppress the source of infection (bacteria). With handling it is needed to take the steps properly, so that the infection does not return. Statistically, 50% of patients have had recurring infection of cellulitis. In this case, the antibiotic treatment period lasts up to several months.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
What is male breast cancer?Men possess a small amount of nonfunctioning breast tissue (breast tissue that cannot produce milk) that is concentrated in the area directly behind the nipple on the chest wall. Like breast cancer in women, cancer of the male breast is the uncontrolled growth of the cells of this breast tissue.
Breast tissue in both young boys and girls consists of tubular structures known as ducts. At puberty, a girl's ovaries produce female hormones (estrogen) that cause the ducts to grow and milk glands (lobules) to develop at the ends of the ducts. The amount of fat and connective tissue in the breast also increases as girls reach puberty. On the other hand, male hormones (such as testosterone) secreted by the testes suppress the growth of breast tissue and the development of lobules. The male breast, therefore, is made up of predominantly small, undeveloped ducts and a small amount of fat and connective tissue.
How common is male breast cancer?Male breast cancer is a rare condition, accounting for only about 1% of all breast cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, about 1,990 new cases of breast cancer in men will be diagnosed, and that breast cancer will cause approximately 480 deaths in men (in comparison, over 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year). Breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than in men. Most cases of male breast cancer are detected in men between the ages of 60 and 70, although the condition can develop in men of any age. A man's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about one-tenth of 1%, or one in 1,000.
What are causes and risk factors of male breast cancer?As with cancer of the female breast, the cause of cancer of the male breast has not been fully characterized, but both environmental influences and genetic (inherited) factors likely play a role in its development. The following risk factors for the development of male breast cancer have been identified.
Exposure to ionizing radiation has been associated with an increased risk of developing male breast cancer. Men who have previously undergone radiation therapy to treat malignancies in the chest area (for example, Hodgkin's lymphoma) have an increased risk for the development of breast cancer.
Hyperestrogenism (high levels of estrogen)
Men normally produce small amounts of the female hormone estrogen, but certain conditions result in abnormally high levels of estrogen in men. The term gynecomastia refers to the condition in which the male breasts become abnormally enlarged in response to elevated levels of estrogen. High levels of estrogens also can increase the risk for development of male breast cancer. The majority of breast cancers in men are estrogen receptor-positive (meaning that they grow in response to stimulation with estrogen). Two conditions in which men have abnormally high levels of estrogen that are commonly associated with breast enlargement are Klinefelter's syndrome and cirrhosis of the liver. Obesity is also associated with elevated estrogen levels and breast enlargement in men.
Klinefelter's syndrome is an inherited condition affecting about one in 1,000 men. A normal man has two sex chromosomes (X and Y). He inherited the female X chromosome from his mother and the male Y chromosome from his father. Men with Klinefelter's syndrome have inherited an extra female X chromosome, resulting in an abnormal sex chromosome makeup of XXY rather than the normal male XY. Affected Klinefelter's patients produce high levels of estrogen and develop enlarged breasts, sparse facial and body hair, small testes, and the inability to produce sperm. Some studies have shown an increase in the risk of developing breast cancer in men with this condition. Their risk for development of breast cancer is markedly increased, up to 50 times that of normal men.
Cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver can result from chronic alcohol abuse, chronic viral hepatitis, or rare genetic conditions that result in accumulation of toxic substances within the liver. The liver produces important binding proteins that affect the transport and delivery of male and female hormones via the bloodstream. With cirrhosis, liver function is compromised, and the levels of male and female hormones in the bloodstream are altered. Men with cirrhosis of the liver have higher blood levels of estrogen and have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Epidemiologic studies have shown that men who have several female relatives with breast cancer also have an increased risk for development of the disease. In particular, men who have inherited mutations in the breast cancer-associated BRCA-2 gene have a dramatically increased (about 80-fold) risk for developing breast cancer, with a lifetime risk of about 5%-10% for development of breast cancer. BRCA-2 is a gene on chromosome 13 that normally functions in suppression of cell growth. Mutations in this gene lead to an increased risk for development of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. About 15% of breast cancers in men are thought to be attributable to BRCA-2 mutation. The role of the BRCA-1 gene, which has been associated with inherited breast cancers in women, is not as clearly defined for male breast cancers.
What are the different types of male breast cancer?The most common type of male breast cancer is infiltrating ductal carcinoma, which is also a common type of breast cancer in women. Ductal carcinoma refers to cancers with origins in the ducts (tubular structures) of the breast, and the term infiltrating means that the cancer cells have spread beyond the ducts into the surrounding tissue. On the other hand, lobular cancers (cancers of the milk glands), common in women, are extremely rare in men since male breast tissue does not normally contain lobules.
Other uncommon types of cancers of the breast that have been reported in men include ductal carcinoma in situ (cancer in the ducts that has not spread beyond the ducts themselves), cystosarcoma phylloides (a type of cancer of the connective tissue surrounding the ducts), and Paget's disease of the breast (a cancer involving the skin of the nipple). Some other types of breast cancer that occur in men are named for their growth patterns and microscopic appearance of the cancer cells, including papillary carcinoma, inflammatory carcinoma, and medullary carcinoma.
About 85% of breast cancers in men have estrogen receptors on their cell membranes. Estrogen receptors on the cell membranes allow estrogen molecules to bind to the cancer cells. Estrogen binding to the cancer cells stimulates cell growth and multiplication.
What are the signs and symptoms of male breast cancer?The most common symptom of breast cancer in men is finding a firm, non-painful mass located just below the nipple. The average size of breast cancer in men when first discovered is about 2.5 cm in diameter. The cancer may cause skin changes in the area of the nipple. These changes can include ulceration of the skin, puckering or dimpling, redness or scaling of the nipple, or retraction (turning inward) of the nipple. Bloody or opaque discharge from the nipple may also occur.
Breast cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the bones may also produce bone pain at the sites of metastases. Advanced breast cancer can also produce symptoms typical of many cancers, including malaise, weakness, and weight loss.
How is male breast cancer diagnosed?Diagnosis of breast cancer requires identifying cancer cells in tissue specimens obtained by biopsy. Since men have little breast tissue, cancers in male breasts are easily palpable (located by feel) and, therefore, are easily accessible to biopsy. Fine needle aspiration or needle biopsy of a suspicious mass can usually establish a diagnosis. A needle is inserted into the mass and tissue from the suspicious area is withdrawn. Microscopic examination of the tissue by a pathologist establishes the diagnosis.
Other techniques that may be used to diagnose breast cancer in men include incisional (removing a portion of the suspicious tissue) or excisional (removing the mass in its entirety) biopsy of a breast mass. If nipple discharge is present, microscopic examination of a smear of the discharge can sometimes establish the diagnosis.
Imaging studies such as X-rays, CAT scans (CT scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and bone scans may be performed to evaluate the presence and extent of metastatic disease once the initial diagnosis of breast cancer has been made.
What is staging of male breast cancer?Staging is carried out to determine the extent to which a cancer has spread within the body. Staging of breast cancer in men is carried out identically to the staging of breast cancer in women. The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM system takes into account the tumor size, lymph node involvement by cancer, and presence of metastasis:
- T: tumor size and extent of local spread
- N: extent of tumor involvement of lymph nodes in the axillary (underarm) region. Since the nipple area is rich in lymphatic vessels, male breast cancer commonly spreads via the lymphatic channels to the axillary lymph nodes (When the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes, doctors sometimes use the term "lymph node-positive" cancer).
- M: presence of distant metastases (spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic vessels)
Stage 0 refers to intraductal carcinoma, in which the cancer cells have not spread beyond the boundaries of the ducts themselves.
In Stage I breast cancer, the tumor is 2 cm or less in greatest diameter and has not spread to the lymph nodes or to other sites in the body.
Stage II cancers are divided into two groups. Stage IIA cancer is either less than 2 cm in diameter with spread to the axillary lymph nodes, or the tumor is between 2-5 cm but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes. Stage IIB tumors are either larger than 5 cm without spread to the lymph nodes or are between 2-5 cm in size and have spread to the axillary lymph nodes.
Stage III is considered to be locally advanced cancer. Stage IIIA means the tumor is smaller than 5 cm but has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, and the axillary lymph nodes are attached to each other or to other structures; or the tumor is greater than 5 cm in diameter with spread to the axillary lymph nodes, which may be attached to each other or to other structures. Stage IIIB tumors have spread to surrounding tissues such as skin, chest wall, and ribs, or to the lymph nodes inside the chest wall.
Stage IV cancer refers to metastatic cancer, meaning it has spread to other parts of the body. With breast cancer, metastases (sites of tumor elsewhere in the body) are most often found in the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. Stage IV cancer is also diagnosed when the tumor can be found in the lymph nodes of the neck.
How is male breast cancer treated?Like breast cancer in women, treatment depends upon the stage of the cancer and the overall physical condition of the patient. Treatments are the same as for breast cancer in women.
Most men diagnosed with breast cancer are initially treated by surgery. A modified radical mastectomy (removal of the breast, lining over the chest muscles, and portions of the axillary lymph nodes) is the most common surgical treatment of male breast cancer. Sometimes portions of the muscles of the chest wall are also removed.
After surgery, adjuvant therapies are often prescribed. These are recommended especially if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes (node-positive cancer). Adjuvant therapies include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy. In cases of metastatic cancer, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or a combination of both, are generally recommended.
Chemotherapy refers to the administration of toxic drugs that stop the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be given as pills, as an injection, or via an intravenous infusion, depending upon the types of drugs chosen. Combinations of different drugs are usually given, and treatment is administered in cycles with a recovery period following each treatment. Some of the most common chemotherapeutic agents for treating breast cancer are cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, fluorouracil, and doxorubicin (Adriamycin). In most cases, chemotherapy is administered on an outpatient basis. Chemotherapy may be associated with unpleasant side effects including hair loss, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill tumor cells. Radiation therapy may be delivered either externally (using a machine to send radiation toward the tumor) or internally (radioactive substances placed in needles or catheters and inserted into the body).
Hormonal therapy prevents hormones from stimulating growth of cancer cells and is useful when the cancer cells have binding sites (receptors) for hormones. Male breast cancers usually have estrogen receptors and are most commonly treated with the drug tamoxifen, which blocks the action of estrogen on the cancer cells. Side effects of tamoxifen treatment can include hot flashes, weight gain, mood changes, and impotence.
While estrogen is the most common target of hormonal therapy, studies have also shown that treatments directed against the actions of male hormones (anti-androgens) can also reduce the size of male breast cancer metastases. The reasons why anti-androgens are effective in widespread disease are not fully understood. Orchiectomy (removal of the testes) was formerly performed to lower androgen levels, but newer nonsurgical methods are currently favored. Drugs known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogs affect the pituitary gland and result in lowered production of male hormones by the testes.
Targeted therapy involves agents that are designed to specifically target one of the cancer-specific changes in cells. An example of targeted therapy is trastuzumab (Herceptin), a monoclonal antibody that blocks the activity the protein known as HER-2-neu that is made by some breast cancers. This treatment is only used in breast cancers whose cells express the HER-2-neu protein and is given intravenously. Trastuzumab has been shown to be effective in women with breast cancer but has not been extensively tested in men with breast cancer. Similarly, Lapatinib (Tykerb) is a drug taken in pill form that also targets the HER2/neu protein. It is used in combination with other agents to treat HER2-positive breast cancer that is no longer responsive to trastuzumab.
If a cancer that has been surgically removed regrows at the original site, this is referred to as local recurrence. Locally recurrent cancers are usually treated by surgery along with chemotherapy, or radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy.
What is the outcome (prognosis) of male breast cancer?The prognosis of a patient with male breast cancer is considered similarly to breast cancer in a woman. Overall survival rates for each tumor stage are similar for men and women. Since men have less breast tissue than women, it is more common for breast cancers in men to have spread beyond the breast when they are identified, resulting in a more advanced tumor stage at diagnosis.
Five-year survival rates (meaning the percentage of patients who live for at least five years following diagnosis) reported for male breast cancer by stage are:
- Stage 0 - 100%
- Stage I - 96%
- Stage II - 84%
- Stage III - 52%
- Stage IV - 24%
- Male breast cancer is rare and accounts for only about 1% of all breast cancers.
- Breast cancer risk in men is increased by elevated levels of estrogen, previous radiation exposure, and a family history of breast cancer.
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma is the most common type of male breast cancer.
- A lump beneath the nipple is the most common symptom of male breast cancer.
- Male breast cancer is staged (reflecting the extent of tumor spread) identically to breast cancer in women.
- Surgery is the most common initial treatment for male breast cancer; chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy are also administered.
- The prognosis of male breast cancer, like breast cancer in women, is predominantly influenced by tumor stage.
References: The American Cancer Society
The National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health
The National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health