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Male breast cancer commonly misdiagnosed

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2005 1,690 United States men will be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer and about 460 men will die from the disease. 

Although breast cancer is about 100 times more common in women, the number of male breast cancer patients is increasing.  Because of the lack of awareness, male breast cancer diagnoses often prove fatal due to the delay or misdiagnosis.

Dr. Sharon H. Giordano, assistant professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, conducts some of the only studies looking at male breast cancer, and says men are more likely to die from the disease than women, despite the disease being easier to feel and detect in men. 

If identified early, men are more likely to be cured from breast cancer, according to Giordano.  Since breast cancer in men is still so rare, men are often misdiagnosed until the cancer has progressed to untreatable stages. 

Just like among women, the main risk factors for breast cancer in men include aging, heavy alcohol intake, radiation exposure, physical inactivity and obesity. 

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