Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 3 Misconceptions About Male Breast Cancer

Dr. Simon J. Lopez

Every October, national companies and local businesses sport pink ribbons and banners in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The disease affects hundreds of thousands of women every year in the United States, claiming more than 43,000 lives annually. However, women are not the only ones impacted by this life-changing disease.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that about 2,400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States. While this type of cancer is rare in men, that doesn’t diminish the toll it takes on the men and families whose lives are forever changed by the diagnosis. Compounding the problem is that men are less likely to detect breast cancer early on.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to male breast cancer – here are some of the common myths when it comes to the disease:

  • You have to have breasts to get breast cancer. Despite some people’s belief that men must have “man boobs'' to get breast cancer, all men have breast tissue that can become cancerous. Staying in shape, eating a healthy diet, and reducing toxins in your environment can help reduce the risk of getting the disease.

  • Men under the age of 60 don’t get cancer. Even though breast cancer in men usually happens past age 60, younger men can still suffer from the disease. Overall health, family history, and genetic factors increase the risk of developing the illness.

  • All men should have annual screening mammograms. Since the disease is so rare and men have smaller breast tissue, a self-examination and a physical checkup by a doctor are sufficient for men.

Research by the American Cancer Society shows that an estimated 530 men will die from breast cancer this year in the United States. However, the disease can be treated successfully if it's detected early, potentially saving lives. Here is a list of symptoms to look out for.

  • A painless lump or thickening in your breast tissue

  • Changes to the skin covering your breasts, such as dimpling, puckering, redness, or scaling

  • Changes to your nipple, such as redness or scaling, or a nipple that begins to turn inward

  • Discharge from your nipple

Do not hesitate to call a doctor if you have any persistent symptoms.You can find a health care provider by going to

And proudly display your pink ribbon to show your support for breast cancer patients – both women and men.

Despite being born in the First State of Delaware, Dr. Simon J. Lopez grew up in various towns across South Florida and acknowledges his truly Floridian roots. Those roots reached from South Florida all the way to Tallahassee where he planted himself at the Florida State University. During his first round as a Seminole, Dr. Lopez could be seen on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium as a sideline photographer for the FSView, the student-run university paper, or being involved in various honor societies he was inducted into. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and dual minors in Biology and Film Studies, Dr. Lopez pursued a Master of Science degree with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences at the University of South Florida. Following his time in Tampa, Dr. Lopez then returned to Tallahassee to become a Seminole again by attending the Florida State University College of Medicine. He did his clinical rotations at the Daytona Beach regional campus under the tutelage of a phenomenal faculty that molded his interests in women's health and preventative medicine. Inspired by the main campus of FSUCOM, Dr. Lopez witnessed firsthand the unique way family medicine physicians were able to combine their personalities with medicine and found it the best fit for his life and career completing his residency and becoming board certified in Family Medicine at the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Family Medicine Residency Program in 2021.

Education aside, Dr. Lopez has spent his life combining his passion for science (which came from seeing the classic film "Juarassic Park" as a child) with his desire to help others. During the little free time afforded him, he can often be found at the theater seeing the latest movie, testing his knowledge at trivia events or trying his best to make others laugh.

2022-10-27 21:00:00