BCAM: October 9th

Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had no idea that men could get it. And yet, they do.

Adiba shares some statistics:

Another note about men, as fathers, men carry the genes that can be passed on to their daughters and sons and raise the risk of developing breast cancer. Often, women believe that if breast cancer isn’t prevalent in their mother’s family, they are “safe,” but this is not true. We each get 50% of our genes from our biological father and 50% of our genes from our biological mother.

So, what can be done about addressing the risk of breast cancer in men?

First of all, I believe that both parents need to have genetic testing whenever a need for testing arises. There should be no assumptions that breast cancer arises from the mother or father until there is proof. A gene causing a greater risk for breast cancer can come from either side of the family.

Secondly, when there is a cancer diagnosis in a family, all of the next affected generation should be tested. Just because a genetic risk for cancer usually affects women’s breasts does not mean that it won’t affect the mammary glands in the men as well. Gender is not a protection from breast cancer wholly.

Third and finally, men need to know their bodies and do self exams just like women. Each of us needs to be aware of what our body feels like on a regular basis and seek surveillance when something is not right or where there is a risk.

And now you know that men can get breast cancer and that men can pass along a higher risk of breast cancer to their children.

20 thoughts on “BCAM: October 9th

  1. I don’t have the gene for breast cancer, and my oncologist assured my daughter that what I had was not hereditary. Yet my mother also has breast cancer, at approximately the same age. Perhaps there are other genetic associations?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are finding and learning about new genes associated with cancer all the time. I don’t think any doctor can definitively say anything about whether or not something is hereditary with any confidence because it is changing all the time. It’s important for your daughter to know the breast cancer history in the family and get tested when she chooses to. The panel I did was 40+ genes. The one my mom did 16 years ago was 3. Such a big difference!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful! Glad you felt it was helpful. I’ve been learning so much about the male experience with regard to genetics as we walk this road in my family. While I inherited the germline mutation, ATM, from my mom, there’s a lot of cancer on my dad’s side (especially breast cancer) and we suspect there is another gene that hasn’t been discovered lurking on that side. It’s fascinating to me and something that I know everyone needs to learn more about!

      Liked by 1 person

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