Breast Cancer Awareness Month is getting close, and with the discussion of breast cancer comes another issue: should men worry about it, too? After all, while women are the most likely candidates for breast cancer, anestimated 2,600 men are still expected to be diagnosed with the disease this year alone.
Anthony Merka, an Oklahoma man who was diagnosed with the disease also urged both men and women in Oklahoma to screen themselves for signs of cancer, considering that out of the men diagnosed, another 440 will likely die from the disease.
Live Science noted that a man’s chance of getting breast cancer in his lifetime is one in 1,000, making it 100 times less common than female breast cancer. It is because of these statistics that many think screening men in the general population with mammograms may not be too beneficial. Unfortunately, this also means that men are unlikely to get themselves checked until it is too late. However, those who have a family history of breast cancer, or those who have mutations in the BRCA gene should get themselves screened.
These gene mutations significantly increased or decreased the likelihood of someone getting breast cancer. To illustrate, women with any mutation BRCA1 gene had a 95 percent chance of developing breast cancer by the age of 70, while women with any mutation in the BRCA2 gene could also get an 11 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer by the age of 70.
That being said, men too, should look into the disease. Fox News reported that Anthony’s wife, Lisa, said about the disease, “There was no information when we started looking. When the doctor said it could be, we started to find research. Couldn’t find anything.” Merka underwent a double mastectomy, and his children, who all have a 50-50 percent chance of ever having the disease were also screened – and tests for his daughter came back positive, so she too, now undergoes regular tests for breast cancer.