BLACK MEN AND BREAST CANCER
In a US study, male breast cancer cases were analysed between 2010 and 2016 with a finding that cancer was 52 per cent higher in black men compared to white men with the same diagnosis.
The reasons for this are largely unknown, but speculations revolve around GENETIC and NON-GENETIC risk factors such as gene mutations, biomarkers and radiation exposure – not to mention, socio-economic circumstances.
The number of male breast cancer cases are growing steadily across the world. It doesn’t help that breast cancer is stigmatised as a ‘woman’s disease’ causing men to delay seeking medical help for an illness that appears to undermine their masculinity.
The problem is, global experts forecast an increase in breast cancer cases from 2,300 cases in 2018 to 2,550 cases in 2028 for men. That’s an annual growth rate (AGR) of 1.10 per cent in American men. Two per cent of all breast cancers are represented by men.
BREAST CANCER IN BLACK MEN (NOT UNLIKE BLACK WOMEN), REMAINS A POORLY RESEARCHED AREA
Unquestionably, we have been a neglected area in terms of research and study when it comes to breast cancer. That lack of focus from healthcare professionals as well as from men themselves, means men are invariably diagnosed late, with poor survival outcomes.
Effective public health strategies are needed to overcome fear, apathy and the social stigma attached to male breast cancer.
One study found that black men with breast cancer (18 to 64 years), were 76 PER CENT MORE LIKELY TO DIE from breast cancer than white men and nobody knows why.
SIGNS OF BREAST CANCER:
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
We practically know nothing about what is happening to black men and why they have breast cancer. However, are some of the speculative risks yet to be properly researched. These include:
EFFECT ON BLACK MEN
Black male breast cancer is described as rare but I think we need to stop seeing it in this way. Rare suggests it’s not something we ought worry about ‘for now’. The collective battle must be the same – to rid ourselves of breast cancer by creating the conditions that can at the very least reduce it.
There’s some discussion about breast cancer being called ‘CHEST CANCER’ to avoid the ‘female stigma’. Although it won’t be fooling anybody, it might encourage men to get checked at an earlier stage if free of the fear of being ‘feminised’. If it saves lives why not, but that’s a discussion for you brothers. The key concern is that it’s becoming far too common among black men and women.
Gaps in the US healthcare system, like the lack of health insurance and racial bias in health care (across the West), mean that timely access to health care is an elusive proposition for most Black men. You can see from the videos above that even outside of the US healthcare system, black men are challenged to get the support they need.
Like many women, black men have normally found their lump by accident and been persuaded to get it checked out.
It’s a broad thing to say but black men of African heritage, need to improve their conscious checking – SELF-EXAMINATION FOR LUMPS IS NECESSARY because that is how you will save your own lives.
Your cancer doctor/ oncologist/provider may ask you to describe the size, location, and how your lump feels. Hard, painless lumps are more concerning. They may take tests other tests and ultimately advise you take a MAMMOGRAM, ultrasound, or MRI to help diagnose the lump. Confirmation of breast cancer is made by way of a BIOPSPY
THINK OF THE FOLLOWING:
First, a BIOPSY will be taken to confirm your diagnosis.
The two most common types are a FINE NEEDLE or LARGER CORE -needle biopsy, although some conditions may call for a SURGICAL biopsy.
Everything depends upon the size of the lump, the position of it exactly and as usual, access to resources.
Finding optimum treatments for breast cancer in Black men is challenging because so little is still known. While there is currently a loud call for randomised trials with black women, the percentage of black men diagnosed with breast cancer is so small, even scientific studies are said to be inappropriate at this stage.
As a non-medical expert, I’m not sure about that. I imagine there are enough incidences for some studies to take place now. The logic that we need more black men to die first, or that we need more black men to be diagnosed with breast cancer before researching their condition, is a little worrying.
Depending on the type of breast cancer you have and how advanced it is, you may need additional treatments such as:
Discuss all of your treatment options—including your goals, medication side effects, and length of treatment—WITH YOUR DOCTOR to help make the decision that best fits your needs.
Mortality rates in Black men are worse for late-stage breast cancers and breast cancer subtypes, like triple-negative that are resistant to treatment.
Like breast cancer in women, breast cancer in men can be
But we don’t know at what rates they exist for Black men.
YOUNGER BLACK MEN with early-stage breast cancer are at the greatest risk.
One study showed that there is a 76 per cent greater risk of death in young Black men than younger White men, despite receiving similar treatment.
When insurance and income differences were adjusted, the difference in mortality rates between the two narrowed significantly, suggesting that ACCESS TO CARE (racial disparities) plays a major role in black male breast cancer mortality rates.
If you get nothing else from this site today understand that EARLY DETECTION is the best chance to save your life so STOP PUTTING IT OFF AND GO AND SEE YOUR DOCTOR!
A diagnosis of breast cancer can shake your world leaving you feeling completely lost. Feelings of despair, embarrassment, anger, confusion, resentment, and shock are all natural responses.
TALK TO SOMEONE and if you’re not ready to do that, let the small videos above reassure you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Maybe in time, you too will create a video to empower other Black men. It is about strengthening your support network, building your confidence, so that you know that you can and will cope.
BUT MY BROTHERS, I DON’T CARE HOW OLD YOU ARE, WHAT YOU DO, OR WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO FACE BREAST CANCER, OR CHEST CANCER ON YOUR OWN.
TO CHANGE THE ENVIRONMENT AND CONDITIONS THAT CREATE BREAST CANCER