Study Shows Male Breast Cancer on the Rise

By Judy Fortin, CNN Health Minute | 

It's estimated that doctors will diagnose 2,000 new cases of breast cancer this year--among men.

During 33 years of marriage, Bill Morley always feared his wife would get breast cancer. After all, it runs in her family.

Instead, he was the one to receive the diagnosis.

"It was me. Where in the world did this come from?" Morley asked.

Bill learned he had stage IV metastatic breast cancer in 2004.

"It's almost embarrassing. I had a pain behind the nipple," he explained.

Male breast cancer is rare in the U.S. The disease is 100 times more common among women.

Like Bill, many men delay going to the doctor and are diagnosed with larger cancers at more advanced stages.

"Not being aware of the risk of breast cancer, they tend to let these masses grow a little bit more and also there is less tissue for it to grow into," said Dr. Mitchell Berger, with the Grady Health System.

Dr. Berger says the condition can leave men feeling isolated.

"It's like being the only man in a sorority house. You are the only one with that condition," he explained.

"Everything you read about breast cancer talks about the female patient. Let's at least acknowledge the fact there are some men out there with breast cancer," Morley said.

Less than one-percent of all breast cancers occur in men, but one study found that male breast cancer is on the rise.

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