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Not Just for Women

Not Just for Women

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One rarely hears about breast cancer in men. But it does occur. Approximately 1,300 men in the United States are diagnosed with the disease each year'and over the past few years, at least two of these cases are known to have occurred in men who had HIV. Cancers other than breast cancer can also occur in the male breast. While not common, Hodgkin's disease, non'Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Kaposi's sarcoma may all be first identified by a breast mass. For HIV-positive men, though, the most common breast problem is breast enlargement, referred to medically as gynecomastia and lipomastia. Gynecomastia can be a side effect of a hormonal imbalance, antiretroviral, antifungal, or tuberculosis medications, and certain types of antidepressants (the tricyclics). Lipomastia is a side effect of antiretroviral medications. Both can affect one or both breasts. Even though gynecomastia and lipomastia are most likely to be the reason for male breast enlargement, it is important that men who experience breast enlargement or feel a lump or mass in their breast area seek medical attention to rule out breast cancer, lymphoma, or Kaposi's sarcoma.

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Sue Rochman

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