Men get breast cancer -- online resources and support for men

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by Dalene Entenmann, The Cancer Blog, 24 Oct 2006

My father taught me that when you have a problem, find someone else who has the same problem and talk to them about it. Real life experiences trump almost every other kind of information. Although women are 100 times more likely than men to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and less than one percent of breast cancer patients are men, men do get breast cancer.

Some of the signs of breast cancer include:

* Lump or thickening in the breast.
* Skin dimpling or puckering.
* Development of a new retraction or indentation of the nipple.
* Redness of scaling of the nipple or breast skin.
* A spontaneous clear or bloody discharge from the nipple.

Some of the known risk factors include: age, family history, genetic predisposition, radiation exposure, Klinefelter syndrome (a congenital abnormality of the sex chromosomes X and Y), exposure to estrogen, liver disease, excess weight and excess alcohol consumption.

Breast cancer resources for men are few and far between, but to follow my father's advice about finding someone to talk to and learn from that has faced the same real life experience, I tracked down several resources men diagnosed with breast cancer might find of interest.

Newsday is featuring the personal story of breast cancer survivor Cameron Alden. Alden tells his breast cancer story as part of a personal cause to raise awareness that men can be diagnosed with breast cancer.

USA Today's Richard Roundtree 'Knows the Score' on cancer features breast cancer survivor Roundtree's personal story and his work with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to raise men's awareness about the disease.

The John W. Nick Foundation was created in memory of John W. Nick, who died from breast cancer at the age of 58. Male breast cancer survivors John W. Nick, Captain Edward J. Wilson, Bob Stafford, Walter Creekmore, David Eisenberg, Mark Eldridge, Dave Lyons, and Ken Graham by Sue Graham share their personal stories of breast cancer on the foundation website.

MALEBC is a discussion mailing list for men with breast cancer. Currently it has 27 members.

Because men often face shock, embarrassment and isolation when diagnosed with breast cancer, the National Breast Cancer Centre has launched Breast Cancer in Men, Australia's first website launched for men with breast cancer offering information and resources from diagnosis to living beyond breast cancer written specifically for men.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 1,720 men will receive a breast cancer diagnosis this year, and 460 men will die from the disease. For men, breast cancer is most frequently diagnosed between the ages of 60 and 70. If any of our readers are aware of other internet resources specifically written for men facing breast cancer, please leave the resource and a link in the comments area following this post.

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