Mumbai: A large number of females have breast cancer but it is rare in men. A team led by Dr. Aditi Agrawal, Breast Cancer Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road gives a fresh lease of life to a 70-year-old man with breast cancer. After a timely intervention, the patient is now doing his daily routine.
Life was beautiful and until a 70-year-old man Alok Singh (Name changed) from Lucknow panicked when he noticed an increase in the breast size of one side full stop immediately, he dismissed it as an age-related change. He started wearing jackets and mufflers to camouflage the swelling. Later he noticed a palpable lump within the swelling. Finally, he gathered the courage to consult at a local hospital where he was diagnosed to have gynecomastia full stop since there was no improvement with the treatment, he informed his son who resided at Mira Road. His son was not satisfied with the treatment at the native place and brought his father to Mumbai and consulted him with a surgeon. On examination, Dr Aditi concluded that the patient did not have gynecomastia and needed additional tests such as an x-ray Mammogram and biopsy to confirm the nature of the lump.
Both reports were suggestive of breast cancer. After the family was informed about the report both father and son were in shock. The father was in denial mode that men did not get breast cancer. However, the son was understanding and had medical knowledge he convinces the father to undergo complete removal of the breast that is mastectomy. The final report was suggested stage 1 breast cancer.
Dr. Aditi Agrawal, Breast Cancer Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road said, “According to the American cancer society, the risk of developing breast cancer is about 1in 833. They are usually diagnosed in stage 3 or 4 as breast tissue is very small in size in males and people are not aware that males can also have cancer. However, we were lucky to diagnose it early. If diagnosed early the results are excellent and survival is similar to the female counterparts. Our patient did not need chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He was put on hormone therapy i.e. oral tablets”.
“Breast cancer in men just sounded odd to me. For me cancer means death. So, when I heard about my diagnosis, I was shocked and numb when I saw my reports. I was just silent and couldn’t utter a single word in front of my family. I locked up myself in the room and cried alone. It was very difficult for me to accept that I have breast cancer. After the big blow, I somehow mustered the courage to come to the hospital and seek treatment. I didn’t want to give up and delaying treatment could have cost me my life. Fortunately, it was a stage 1 cancer and I thank the doctors for appropriate treatment. I can do everything that I was doing before the treatment. I am living my life to the fullest. I urge men not to ignore symptoms like thickening of the breast tissue, painless lump, changes in the skin covering the breast like dimpling, puckering, redness, scaling, or watery discharge from the nipple,” concluded the patient Alok Singh ( Name changed).