Men urged to check for signs of breast cancer


Men urged to check for signs of breast cancer

Monday, October 19, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

GENERAL surgeon at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland, Dr Lincoln Cox, is urging men to check for breast cancer symptoms.

He said that while the disease is rare in males, representing about one per cent of all cancer cases, it is important for men to remain aware and to report to their general practitioner any lumps on the breast or chest.

Breast cancer in men usually presents itself as a lump in the chest, dimpling of the skin or changes in the nipple.

“We urge all males and females with a lump to come in early, once you feel the lump, because that's the time to treat the lump – the first time you recognise it,” Dr Cox said.

He was addressing the MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation's teleconference last Wednesday, in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

He adedd that men with a familial history of breast cancer are at an increased risk of developing the disease.

“In Jamaica, the leading cause of cancer-related death in men is prostate cancer, and if we look at the genetic syndromes, some of those syndromes are causing increased risk of prostate cancer within men and an increased risk of breast cancer. Once you have men in a family with breast cancer, prostate cancer, they are also of increased risk,” he pointed out.

Dr Cox said it is important to note that in men, when a lump presents in the breast, if cancerous, the disease could already be at an advanced stage due to less dense breast tissue.

“If you have a lady with a breast lump of one centimetre, it may be at a very early stage as opposed to a man, who can have a breast lump of one centimetre and it is at an advanced stage because there is little breast tissue. It doesn't take much increase in growth for it to attach to the anterior chest walls and get beyond the pectoralis major. Therefore, it is very important that men check themselves,” he pointed out.

Dr Cox noted, too, that, like women, men diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage have a good chance of survival. He said that treatment of the disease typically involves surgery to remove the breast tissue.

Meanwhile, male breast cancer survivor Archibald Peterkin, who shared his story at the teleconference, said he never thought men could get the disease until he was diagnosed 12 years ago.

“My experience with the breast cancer was first of all frightening because I didn't know men could have breast cancer. When the doctor told me it was breast cancer, I remember I sat in his office and said, 'My God can cure all diseases,' ” he said.

He is urging men to take their health seriously and “listen to what the doctors say and follow their instructions”.

The Westmoreland-based MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation is spearheading several online conferences up to December to highlight statistics and trends relating to cancers.

These are being streamed on various social media platforms on the second Wednesday of each month between the hours of 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm.

Members of the public can tune in to these events on Zoom, the MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation's YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as the JIS's YouTube and Facebook pages.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon