Showing posts with label Men's Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Men's Health. Show all posts

Breast Cancer in Men ! Yes it happens

Most of us remain unaware of the fact that Breast Cancer can happen in men too. It is not a totally women specific medical condition. According to American Cancer Society, 1% cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in men. 2,550 new cases and 480 deaths occur among American men every year due to breast cancer. Some people find this fact hard to digest, but it happens. Increasing your knowledge on this topic can help you in understanding why it happens in men and also help you in diagnosing early symptoms of breast cancer in men.

Why do men have breast cancer, when they don't have breast?
Most of the people think that men don't have breast, but the truth is that men possess very small breast tissue behind their nipple, which is non-functioning in nature and cannot produce milk. Male breasts have small undeveloped ducts and small amount of fat compared to females. But still this region can get affected by cancer due to some factors mentioned further in this article.
Do you know that Gynecomastia is a disease which makes men develop breasts like women due to hormonal imbalance.
Which factors set men at risk of Breast Cancer ? 

  • Elevated levels of female hormone estrogen is major factor responsible for breast cancer in men.
  • Family history of breast cancer.
  • Radiation exposure can also set you at risk of breast cancer. Sometimes radiation exposure given on chest region to treat other types of cancer can sometimes result in breast cancer.
  • Klinefelter's syndrome also put you at risk of breast cancer. It is a genetic disorder in which instead of having XY chromosome, the man have XXY chromosome. One extra X chromosome that comes from mother, results in excess estrogen hormone, which can result in breast cancer. Men suffering from this disease have 50 times more chances of suffering from breast cancer than normal men.
  • Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol abuse causes a disease named cirrhosis of the liver, which results in high estrogen level and it can lead to beast cancer.

In 85% Male Breast Cancer cases, excess estrogen in one of the major reasons.
Do deodorants cause breast cancer in Men? This article previously published on give you an insight on a suspected source of breast cancer among men.

Male Breast Cancer Symptom

A lump beneath the nipple is the most common clinical symptom. It should be diagnosed by a doctor as it might be just gynecomastia. Other common male breast cancer symptoms are:

  • Itching on  nipple
  • nipple turning inwards
  • ulceration of skin
  • discharge from the nipple

Worst thing about male breast cancer is that it can also spread to nearby organs, so the symptoms should not be ignored.

Types of Breast Cancer in Men

  • Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma: Origin of this type of cancer is in ducts (tubular structures) of the breast. It is called infiltrating because it can easily spread to other nearby tissues. It is most common breast cancer in both men and women.
  • Lobular cancer: It is very rare among men as it happens in the milk glands, known as lobules. Even if a man develops breast, the chances of having lobules are extremely rare.
  • Ductal Carcinoma in situ: In this less common type of male breast cancer, the cancer exists only in the ducts.
  • Cystosarcoma phylloides : This type of breast cancer occurs in the connective surrounding tissues of the ducts.
  • Paget's disease of the breast : This type of breast cancer affects the skin of nipples.

Male Breast Cancer Treatment

Staging is done before any type of treatment which is similar to stages of breast cancer in women. Further treatment depends on the stage of cancer. Surgery is the most common initial treatment for male breast cancer. In that surgery following portions of the chest are surgically removed.

  • removal of the breast
  • removal of lining over the chest muscles
  • axillary lymph nodes from underarm are also removed
  • In some cases, some muscles of chest are also removed

After the surgery some therapies like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy can be suggested if the specialist believes that cancer has spread to lymph nodes.

Gynecomastia (Enlarged Men Breast) Symptoms and Treatment

Gynecomastia is often known as "Enlarged Men Breast". People often misunderstand it as pseudogynecomastia or lipomastia, which deposition of fat in breast area of obese men. Gynecomastia is enlargement of glandular tissue, not the fatty tissue. It is a common disease in men of all age groups and happens due to hormonal imbalance. It occurs on both sides but sometimes it can affect only one side. Enlargement of one side is usually greater than other. Men often face psychological problems due to gynecomastia, as they feel awkward if somebody notices it.

Don't worry if you are going through Puberty
If Gynecomastia happens during infancy and puberty, then it usually disappears on its own within six months to two years. Hormonal changes during infancy and puberty can make it happen, but as the hormone level returns to normal, the enlarged male breasts disappear.

What causes Gynecomastia ?

Imbalance of estrogen and testosterone hormone in men results in Gynecomastia. Estrogen is female hormone, while testosterone is men hormone. If estrogen hormone level rises in men due to some hormonal imbalance then it enlarges glandular tissues in the chest and gives it a rubbery and firm feel of enlarged men breast. Sometimes it can also cause pain in the affected region.
Gynecomastia can occur due to :

  • Some disorders in testes can result in decreased testosterone production, which results in relatively high estrogen level.
  • Testicular cancer can also release such hormones that causes gynecomastia.
  • Sometimes drug abuse is also found responsible for gynecomastia. 
  • Some Medications can also result in gynecomastia, such as anabolic steroids, narcotic drugs, heartburn drugs and anti-anxiety medication. 10 to 25% cases occur due to medication.
  • Eating a lot of soy products can increase estrogen in men causing enlarged men breast.
  • Herbal products like dong quai, lavender and tea tree oil.
  • Diseases like hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver can cause hormonal imbalance which results in gynecomastia.
  • 25% gynecomastia cases occur due to unknown reasons.
Some steroids can also cause Gynecomastia, so don't use them to be bodybuilder. Some sellers are also selling blouses for men to hide their enlarged breast due to this disease.

Gynecomastia Symptoms

  • Male breast enlargement is the most easily visible symptom which can be easily noticed in front of a mirror.
  • Soft, compressible, and mobile chest tissue under the areola of the nipple.
  • It can occur in one or both sides.
  • Increase in the diameter of the areola.
  • Stress is another symptoms, but it usually happens either due to feeling of awkwardness or due to fear of breast cancer.

You must know that 1% of breast cancer cases occur in men and increased estrogen level is also a symptom of breast cancer.

Gynecomastia Treatment

  • Adolescents don't need any particular treatment as it cures on its own within 6 to 18 months.
  • In cases of mild gynecomastia, lifestyle changes such as proper nutrition and regular exercise can cure the condition.
  • If gynecomastia is diagnosed within first two years then some medication to increase testosterone and lower estrogen hormone can be prescribed by doctor.
  • In severe cases surgical removal of glandular breast tissue is done and then further measures are taken to normalize the hormone levels.

Many Health Insurance companies in US deny coverage for surgery of gynecomastia as they consider it as a cosmetic surgery.

Diseases that affect Men Only

The different body structure of men and women results in different diseases. There are some gender specific features in our body which are found in skin, bones, heart and brain. Organs of men and women not only differ in terms of reproduction, but in a lot of other ways. Our organs respond differently to the same situation, depending on our gender. Same diseases are sometimes expressed in different ways among men and women. Here we are going to discuss some men-only diseases about which men should must read.

Diseases that affect Men Only

  • Alport Syndrome: It is a genetic disorder that cause kidney disease and deafness and often results in early death. It is due to "collagen gene COL4A5" which is present on X-chromosome. Men have just one X chromosome, and if the collagen gene on that X chromosome is abnormal then they will definitely suffer from Alport syndrome. But in case of women, they have two X chromosomes, and even if one copy of collagen gene is abnormal, then the other normal copy of the same gene on the other X chromosome helps them in living a normal life.
  • Male pattern baldness: It is a common disease among men and it results in baldness. It happens due to DHT, something related to testosterone hormone, which is generally known as male hormone.
  • Prostate Cancer: Prostate gland is a male-specific gland, thus prostate cancer is also a male-specific disease. Prostate cancer is responsible for second most number of cancer related deaths among American men.
  • Varicoceles: You must have heard about varicose veins, which occur in legs. A similar condition when occurs in the scrotum of men is called Varicoceles. It is a large gathering or enlargement of veins in that region. According to a research it happens in 15% of men, but most often don't cause any problem and most men don't need any treatment. But sometimes it causes pain and infertility by decreasing the seamen quality. It can be treated through surgery.
  • Testicular Cancer: The success rate of treating this type of cancer in around 95%, but it often results in removal of testicle. One in every 263 guys in US get affected by testicular cancer.
  • Peyronie's disease: This disease causes the penis to bend or curve, which results in shortening of penis, erectile dysfunction and inability to penetrate. Calcification or plaque buildup and genetic deposition is primary reason behind this disease in men.
  • Klinefelter syndrome: It is a genetic disease which affects physical and cognitive development of male child only. Those who suffer from this syndrome have smaller testes and thus produce lesser amount of testosterone, which is necessary for male sexual development.

The above list is not a complete list. There are several other disease that affect men only, but there are also some that affect women only. So don't take any one gender being superior. Men and women are incomplete without each other but their bodies are somehow different and so are diseases.

Effect of Gender on your Blood Pressure (Men vs Women)

Men have comparatively higher blood pressure compared to women. However this trend continues only till menopause in women. After menopause both men and women share the similar chances of developing high blood pressure and diseases related to it. But for a major part of life women have lower chances of developing hypertension. Researches were done to know more about this gender difference in blood pressure.

The body of men and women are very different in terms of metabolism and hormones. In some researches it was found that blood pressure of women remain 6-7% less during both physical activity and mental stress. There are several reasons behind this higher BP in men. Some of the known reasons are described below.
  • Stroke Volume: It is the amount of blood pumped by left ventricle of our heart. Women have lower stroke volume (SV) compared to men, which is a major reason behind comparative lower blood pressure in women.
  • Peripheral Resistance: It is resistance produced by arteries against the blood flow. This resistance must be overcome by force of blood to keep it flowing. When we are at some mental stress, the peripheral resistance increases automatically. Women have comparative lower peripheral resistance even during high stress level, which let their blood pressure remain low compared to men.
  • Intra-abdominal fat: It is the fat content in the abdominal region. Men ten to have more intra abdominal fat compared to women. This type of fat can be present in men irrespective of the obesity, as it is the fat content between the internal organs of abdomen. This type of fat content is directly related to BP level. Thus it is one of the reasons for higher blood pressure in men.
  • Dyslipidemia: It is the abnormal amount of triglycerides, cholesterol and/or fat phospholipids in the blood stream. Dyslipidemia is more common in men compared to women, which may also lead to higher blood pressure.
  • Smoking and Drinking Habits: In most of the societies men are more inclined towards habit of smoking and drinking, which directly affect the blood pressure.
Apart from the above mentioned reasons, some researchers believe that difference between male and female hormones is also responsible for difference in blood pressure levels. The overall conclusion is that women can keep their blood pressure low without much effort. You may also conclude from it that women don't loose control of their mind as easily as men do and it might be one of the reasons behind comparatively cooler nature of women.

Why do men like Polygamy more than women ?

Polygamy is a lifestyle when one person can have more than one sexual partners. Some societies and religion allow man to marry more than one woman. However several countries have prohibited this practice in legal terms, but still some are allowing it only for certain religions. Even if it is illegal in most of the countries, still a number of men have more than one sexual partner. Here we are not going to discuss the legal or illegal nature of polygamy. Polygamy can be in any form either one night stand, prostitution, second wife without and rights or just an affair. In most of the cases it is found that men are always more interested in polygamy compared to women. Here we going to pull out the reasons behind this behavior of men.

Why men are more polygamous than women ?

  • Religions allow it only for men: All those religions that allow polygamy, allow it only for men. Religions have a major impact on thinking of men and women. Our religions have given more freedom to men compared to women, which made women dependent on men and thus believed it that they should do as per command of male members of family.
  • Men is more muscular: The physical power has its own benefits. It is the very first reason behind the male domination in society. Being more muscular means, ability to control woman according to their wish.
  • Humans evolved from animals: As you have seen in various wildlife TV Channels that male animals always try to spread their genes by impregnating various females on the basis of their strength. Male animals are very less likely to make a bond to only one female. So that polygamous behavior is in the genes of men from their ancestors. Man is more or less a social animal. Even if it is not allowed in terms of law or society, men do it in other ways.
  • More Control: More or less men are usually the more outgoing and earning member of family. It gives them the opportunity to be polygamous. When you have got freedom and money to spend then most likely you will utilize it for your pleasure.
  • Men are less religious: In most of the societies men are less religious and have less fear of god. Even if their religion says that polygamy is a sin, they still try indulge in it in any way possible. The more powerful a person is, the less fear of God will be there.
  • Women were not allowed to be polygamous: Even a polygamous man don't want her wife to be polygamous. This personality trait of man, kept polygamy to men. However sex workers were an exception as they were not bound to a single man.

Polygamy is not something to like, it is something to lean. Mean lean towards it due to more muscular power, more financial independence, favoring religious laws and the animal nature within. So if you are a woman and found your man cheating on you then you can blame is genes.

The views shared in this article are not about behavioral characteristic of every man or woman. Some man and woman totally disbelieve in polygamy from the depth of their hearts and such people are making the whole society believe more in love rather than polygamy.
66% of British population believes that polygamy is morally wrong. 56% American population thinks in the same way.

Why Men are usually taller than Women !

In different geographical areas around the globe the height of humans differ a lot, but still men are 4-9% taller than women everywhere. Sometimes some exceptions occur but on an average men are always taller. Different studies tell about different reasons for this difference in height.  A single factor can't be held responsible for this difference in height. Some factors are related to our evolution, while some are related to our cultures. Here are a few of them.

Biological Reasons

  • Natural Selection: We all know that humans evolved from apes and gorillas and it took millions of years in this process. All of the previous species of humans lived in forests and males often fight for females (just like we see on animal channels). Most of the times taller males win and only winners were able to continue their genes. In this way natural selection helped men to be taller.
  • Women stop growing a few years earlier: If you look at the growth chart of both men and women, then you will find that women stop growing a few years earlier. It gives men an upper edge and they become taller.
  • Testosterone hormone: This hormone is responsible for muscular growth. Women's body have just 5% of testosterone compared to men. This is a major reason behind lesser muscles which can easily lead to lesser height. More height requires more muscle mass to support the larger frame. Why women don't develop muscles like men ?

Cultural Reasons

  • Better food for males: In most of the cultures boys and girls are not treated equally. Boys are given more preference in terms of better food. This practice when continued for generations will automatically result in taller and muscular males.
  • Outdoor Exposure: In most of the cultures men are the main earning member of the family and often get more outdoor exposure. This resulted in more physical activity and thus muscular development and better height. This factor is also connected to previous factor of better food for males.
  • Women select taller guy: Just like the biological factor of natural selection, men don't fight for women anymore. But still taller men win. It is because still in modern world women prefer their men to be taller. So taller genes of men continue to rule.
  • Men select shorter women: In most scenarios men opt for a shorter women instead of the taller one. So the shorter genes of women continue in the gene pool.

Who's body is better: Men or Women !

All of these biological and cultural reasons were a part of our life from past thousands to millions of years. In some species the difference of height of males and females is much larger than humans. So human females are still better than a lot of other species. Shorter height of women does not mean women are lesser than men in any way in the modern world.