[CancerCare.org / Marissa Fors LCSW, OSW-C] Breast cancer is often perceived as a woman’s disease, as most breast cancers that are diagnosed in the U.S. are in women. Diagnoses in men contribute to less than 1% of cases.1 Although male breast cancer is rare, health care providers must be well-informed of the psychosocial impacts of the disease. An understanding of the physical and emotional effects specific to men is crucial in the development of patient-centered cancer care.
Men with breast cancer often face unique challenges. This diagnosis can be shocking, and may bring about feelings of isolation, shame, and emasculation. A lack of awareness of male breast cancer, along with responses from others, contribute to these emotions. As health care providers, actions can be taken to better understand the experiences of male breast cancer patients and ensure an inclusive and supportive environment. [Read more…]