Dr Abisoye Abayomi, an Oncologist based in Lagos, says men are not exempted from screening for breast cancer.
Abayomi, who was speaking in Abuja, said that even though men do not develop milk-producing breasts, their breast cells and tissues could still develop cancer.
“Breast Cancer in Men is real. Many people don’t know that men can get breast cancer because they don’t think of man as having breasts. Admittedly, the occurrence of breast cancer in male subjects is quite rare with a 1 in 1,000 ratio compared to the 1 in 8 in women. Men who are afflicted with this type of cancer are less likely to survive the disease than women,” he said.
Abayomi said that currently, knowledge on the causes of breast cancer was not sufficient; therefore, early detection of the disease remained the cornerstone of breast cancer control.
“When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option; in such cases, palliative care to relieve the suffering of patients and their families is needed.’’
He urged Nigerians not to be scared to get screened, stating that it was the cheapest way to identify and manage cancer.
According to Abayomi, breast screening process takes just 20 minutes and that can help to change one’s lifestyle for the better.
The Oncologist said that if anyone was concerned about developing breast cancer, they might be wondering if there were steps they could take to help prevent the disease.
He said that while risk factors like genetics and age could not be avoided, measures could be taken to lower risk of breast cancer, mainly by staying healthy.
Quoting Hippocrates of 400 BC, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’’, Abayomi said: “and still so relevant today; prevention is key.’’
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women worldwide, both in developed and developing countries.
In low and middle-income countries, the incidence has continued to rise steadily due to increase in life expectancy and urbanisation, among other factors.