“Benign Gynecomastia is an indirect sign that there is some hormonal imbalance in the man,’’ Derhagopian said. “We see Gynecomastia in marijuana smokers, but as how marijuana does that we are not sure. It is also commonly seen in pubital boys and in men who use certain anabolic steroids to beef up.’’
Currently the breast cancer treatment protocol is about the same for both men and women because the pathology is the same. Usually surgery to remove the breast tissue is first and then chemotherapy and hormone therapy usually follow.
“From a standpoint of making a surgical decision, it is much different for women in terms of the psychosexual component,’’ Vogel said. “The breast is associated with femininity and body image, consequently there is more of a thrust to do breast preservation in women.’’
Eleven days after his mammogram, Wagner underwent a mastectomy, surgery to remove the breast, and a few lymph nodes dissected were clear. And since the tumor was estrogen and progesterone positive, he was prescribed a drug called Arimidex, as hormone therapy.
“Other drugs like Tamoxifen can cause hot flashes,’’ Vogel said. “One of the biggest complains is a decrease in libido and this is sometimes quite troubling for the men.’’
Wagner said he has a good quality of life and he is grateful to be able to play golf, dance and spend time with his daughters. He has some advice for men who may happen to feel something in their breast like he once did.
“Don’t ignore it,’’ he said. “And because not all breast cancers show up in mammograms. There are some men who still need to have a biopsy. Don’t ignore that lump.’’