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Critically Speaking

Oct 23, 2019

Dr. Zehr is the scientific editor for the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, which produces two peer-reviewed journals, Radiologic Technology and Radiation Therapist.  Dr. Zehr holds a doctorate in biomedical science with focuses in cardiovascular physiology and fatty acid metabolism.  


In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Kayla Zehr discuss male breast cancer. Men can and do get breast cancer.  While at a seemingly low rate of 1% of all cancer cases being male breast cancer, the rate has been increasing, 26% in the last three decades. They discuss the similarities in breast cancer between men and women, as well as the increased risk for transgendered individuals. Because men often think this is a woman only disease, they may ignore symptoms or feel stigmatized by breast disease.   Thus, they are often diagnosed at a more advanced stage of the disease.   Through awareness and education, we hope to improve breast cancer screening and outcomes for men. 


Key Takeaways:  

  • Before puberty, male and female breasts are identical. After puberty there are some changes due to hormones. 
  • Men, as in women, with a 1st degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer have a 2 to 3-fold increased risk of developing breast cancer themselves. 
  • Unfortunately, probably through lack of awareness or fear of stigmatization, men tend to be diagnosed when their breast cancer is at a more advanced stage and, thus, their treatment outcomes are not as successful as for women. 
  • Men should engage in the same self-examination processes as women and, if diagnosed, should be helped to not feel isolated. 


"Increased circulation of androgens isn’t helpful for breast cancer risk." —  Dr. Kayla Zehr 


Connect with Dr. Kayla Zehr: 

Article: Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer in Men.  

LinkedIn: Kayla Zehr, PhD 


Connect with Therese:  


Twitter: @CritiSpeak  




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