University of Leeds researchers are collecting and storing male breast tissue samples in the groundbreaking Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank. Dr Speirs' ongoing work is also being supported by a new grant from Yorkshire Cancer Research.
"Many men are unaware they can be affected by breast cancer but this work has highlighted that the number of cases is gradually increasing. It must be stressed that the numbers are still extremely small - 150 times less than in women so we are certainly not talking about an epidemic. However better awareness is needed," Dr Speirs said.
"Symptoms include discharge from the nipple that may be blood stained, swelling of the breast, a sore or ulcer in the skin of the breast, a nipple that is pulled or retracted into the breast or a lump under the arm. If you have any of these symptoms contact your GP straight away," she added.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive, Breast Cancer Campaign said, "The study of breast cancer in men has been difficult in the past because of the relatively small number of cases. As early diagnosis and treatment is vital to increase the chances of survival, we need to raise awareness.
"The new Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank, with a core centre in Leeds, will be invaluable to researchers to enable them to understand the molecular causes, similarities and differences between male and female breast cancer, as well as testing the effectiveness of existing and new treatments."
Dr Kathryn Scott, Research Liaison Officer with Yorkshire Cancer Research said "This is a fantastic example of two charities working together to advance the knowledge into this relatively unknown disease in men. Many men do not realise they can get breast cancer and, although still rare, the incidence has risen. It is important to raise awareness because early detection is often linked to a more successful outcom
|Contact: Paula Gould|
University of Leeds