Is it Only Women Who Get Breast Cancer?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, at Natracare, we’re hoping to help raise awareness of how to detect early signs of breast cancer. Most cases of breast cancer affect women – in fact, it’s the most diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. But can men also get breast cancer? And is it only people at a certain age who are at risk? Read on to find out more.

Can men get breast cancer?

In short, yes – anybody can get breast cancer, including men. Often, breast cancer is viewed as a type of cancer that only affects women and people with vulvas, but this isn’t true. 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, but breast cancer does affect men and people with penises as well.

Around 390 men are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year in the UK alone. Compared to around 55,000 cases in women each year in the UK, this might not sound like a lot, but it exemplifies how breast cancer isn’t exclusively affecting women and people with vulvas.

Can young people get breast cancer?

Breast cancer is most common in women over the age of 50 but, similar to it being a possibility for men, breast cancer is also a possibility for young people. Sadly, nobody is exempt from being at risk of getting breast cancer, regardless of age, sex, and gender.

How to spot signs of breast cancer

Symptoms of breast cancer differ slightly between men and people with penises, and women and people with vulvas. Here’s which symptoms you should look out for when checking your own breast/chest area, according to the NHS:

Breast cancer symptoms for women and people with vulvas:

  • Changes in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • Lumps or swelling in either of your armpits
  • Dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • Release of discharge from either of your nipples (this may be bloody)
  • Changes in the appearance of your nipple/s
  • Rashes on or around your nipple

Breast cancer symptoms for men and people with penises:

  • Lump/s in the breast which are usually hard, painless, and don’t move
  • Nipple turning inwards or changes in its appearance
  • Release of discharge from either of your nipples (this may be bloody)
  • Rashes on or around your nipple
  • Nipple or surrounding skin becoming hard, red, or swollen
  • Small bumps in your armpit

Our limited edition Natracare x Against Breast Cancer curved panty liners are available to buy now in the UK (look out for the pink pack!), and 10p of every pack sold will be donated to Against Breast Cancer.

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