If you are male and ignore a lump in your chest, thinking it as normal, think twice next time - as you could be the next victim of breast cancer.

 

Shivakumar T, a male breast cancer survivor, is a happy man as he had checkmated the deadly disease. But he regrets ignoring and delaying the diagnosis of the same and its treatment. Had he come on time, his nipple could have been saved.

 

In 2003, he found a lump around his chest area,he ignored it thinking it as some muscle catch. As the pain continued, he took a few herbal powders suggested by his friends. Shivakumar, being a writer who focuses on mental health, skipped his check up twice for mental health conferences. Later when he approached the doctors at KIDWAI hospital in 2004, they confirmed breast cancer.

 

"By the time I  approached the hospital, it was too late. Like me at least late to hospital, and this will result in a hollow in the chest," said Shivakumar.

 

Like Shivakumar, at least 15 patients are treated every year at this hospital alone. The doctors say the numbers are slowly increasing and this disease is more malignant in men than women. 

 

"Women have one advantage. Once they have a baby, the doctors suggest breast feeding for up to one year. This process reduces the chances of breast cancer in women, "said Shivakumar.

 

Dr Ramesh, Oncologist from KIDWAI said, self examination of chest area once a month and a clinical examination including mammography (a machine used to detect breast cancer  through radiation) once a year can prevent such cases.