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Breast Cancer Deadlier for Black Men

Breast cancer doesn’t just affect Black women disproportionately, it’s also a problem for Black men. According to a recent study, the incidence rates of breast cancer are higher for Black men than white men.

Male breast cancer is rare, but important. It accounts for less than 2% of all cancers in men and approximately 2% of all breast cancers in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2021 about 2,650 men will be diagnosed and about 530 men will die from breast cancer.

Like Black women, Black men face similar health disparities when it comes to breast cancer. Not only do Black men have a 52% higher rate of contracting the disease than white men, they’re also 76% more likely to die—even with similar treatment.

Unfortunately, reasons for the elevated risk of breast cancer in Black men are largely unknown but may involve a multitude of risk factors including genetic and nongenetic factors. The study authors concluded more research is needed to determine these factors.

While breast cancer may be rare for men, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. If you experience any of the following changes, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider right away:

• A lump or swelling, which is often (but not always) painless
• Nipple retraction (turning inward)
• Redness, dimpling, puckering, or scaling of the nipple or breast skin
• Nipple discharge

This article is sponsored by Eli Lilly & Company.


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