Man diagnosed with rare breast cancer
Sixty-year-old had been complaining of painful lumps for six months, before undergoing bilateral modified radical mastectomy at Ruby Hall A
Sixty-year-old had been complaining of painful lumps for six months, before undergoing bilateral modified radical mastectomy at Ruby Hall
A 60-year-old Man from Pimpri, who had been complaining of a painful lump on his chest for the past six months, was diagnosed with a rare case of bilateral breast cancer at the Ruby Hall Clinic. Doctors at the hospital conducted a bilateral modified radical mastectomy procedure to remove the tumour. The man is now undergoing treatment at the hospital to avoid a cancer recurrence.
During examination, the doctors found that the right breast of the man had a 2-cm lump just below the nipple and areola complex, with no palpable axillary lymph nodes. On examination of the left breast, a 3-cm retro areolar lump was palpable. But again, there were no palpable axillary nodes. “We conducted a bilateral modified radical mastectomy on him in August to remove the tumour. He is currently undergoing radiation therapy to avoid a relapse of the disease. The patient was screened further to check whether the disease has spread to other parts or organs of his body. Sonography of the abdomen and chest with Xray and bone scan were done. Fortunately, all the reports were normal,” said Dr Gajanan Kanitkar, consultant surgical oncologist, Ruby Hall Clinic, who treated the patient.
The man said that he had noted both the lumps at the same time and was treated locally with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents by the primary care physician, but to no avail. Finally he was referred to the Ruby Hall Clinic. “I never thought it would be breast cancer as I was under the notion that the disease only happens in females. I suspected it to be a normal knot in my chest, which would be cleared with medication. If that didn’t work, I thought the lumps could be surgically removed. I was shocked when the biopsy reports showed that I was suffering from bilateral breast cancer,” the patient told Mirror.
The overall incidence of male breast cancer in India is 1 per cent of the total number of breast cancer cases. Of that, bilateral breast cancer in India is so extremely rare that there are no figures to quote. According to doctors, this case of bilateral cancer of the breast in a male might probably be the first reported case from Pune. Male breast cancer is most common between the 5th and 7th decades of life. Its risk factors include obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, endocrine imbalance, exposure to radiation and genetic redisposition. Male breast cancers are generally more aggressive in nature and the survival is poorer compared to females. Kanitkar cautioned, “It is important to get screened early, even if men have a small lump in the chest. This can avoid the spread of the cancer to other organs like bone, lung, liver and so on, which can create more complications. If the patient is diagnosed early with the disease, the chances of cure are better.”
Elaborating on the rare instance of male breast cancer, Dr Shona Nag, the head of medical oncology department at Jehangir Hospital, shared, “Male breast cancer is relatively rare and the lifetime risk of breast cancer in men is hundred times less than in women. It is not obviously suspected as, commonly, male breasts are underdeveloped compared to female ones. Male breast cancer is often diagnosed in stage two or three, but the treatment and survival rate is exactly the same as female breast cancer. Male breast cancer is very often due to genetic mutation. Male breast cancer patients will often have a first degree or second degree female relative from the maternal or fraternal side having breast cancer.”
It is important to get screened early, even if men have a lump in the chest. This can avoid the spread of the cancer to other organs and better the chances of a cure