While male breast cancer is fairly uncommon, a Pune man has had to have a mastectomy after painful lumps in his chests were diagnosed as cancerous.
The 60-year-old man had had pain in the lumps for almost 6 months.
Pune Mirror quoted Dr Gajanan Kanitkar, consultant surgical oncologist, Ruby Hall Clinic, as saying "We conducted a bilateral modified radical mastectomy on him in August to remove the tumour. He is currently undergoing radiation therapy to avoid a relapse of the disease. The patient was screened further to check whether the disease has spread to other parts or organs of his body. Sonography of the abdomen and chest with Xray and bone scan were done. Fortunately, all the reports were normal."
The patient wasn't aware that breast cancer can affect men too.
He told Mirror that he was shocked when he realised he was suffering from bilateral breast cancer, and had thought that the knots could just be removed through medication or surgery.
He is now undergoing treatment so that the cancer doesn't come back.
Dr Balaji, oncologist, Apollo Hospital had told The New Indian Express in 2016 that while women are aware of the disease, there is a serious lack of awareness on male breast cancer, and because of the rarity of the disease there isn't even the number of patients required to conduct clinical trials.
"Though India has got the highest rate of breast cancer cases, men with the disease are very few. That's why clinical trials are unlikely. We depend on existing data instead. Termed retrospect data, we analyse patients from over 20 years and conduct research based on that," he had told the newspaper.
The fact that there is a serious lack of awareness, it puts patients more at risk.
Dr Sanjay Sharma had told Times of India in 2014, "While breast cancer is rare in men, it isn't an unknown phenomenon. Often, the disease is diagnosed at an advanced stage, as men tend to overlook the possibility of breast cancer and avoid routine screenings," he says.