KAMPALA – Experts have expressed concern over the rising cases of breast cancer in men.
Dr Noleb Mugisha, the head of cancer prevention at Uganda Cancer Institute, said the institute has recorded up to 37 cases where men have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
He was apeaking at a conference organised by the Uganda National Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (UNCDA) to discuss how the country can address the rising burden of breast cancer and challenges in accessing cancer services in Kampala on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
“Men also suffer from breast cancer and each month, we see at least three men diagnosed with breast cancer. Men should also self-examine their breasts to detect abnormal swelling at least once a month. Breast cancer can also manifest as a swelling in the armpits,” Dr Mugisha said.
“Breast cancer is treatable and curable. In Uganda, in 2018, there were 2,318 people who suffered from breast cancer. At Uganda Cancer Institute alone, we saw 515 new patients with breast cancer last year  and we lost 26 of them,” he added.
Dr Mugisha asked all women aged 40 or above to go for breast cancer screening because they are at higher risk.
“For all cancers, there is no pain at the start. By the time you start experiencing pain, the cancer is already in its late stage. You need to go for health care even when you are not sick,” he said.
The risk factors for breast cancer include family history, delaying first pregnancy up to the age of 40, refusing to breastfeed the baby, and lack of physical activity, according to Dr Mugisha.
Mr Paul Ebusu, the executive director of Uganda Cancer Society, asked government to put in place a national cancer control plan and national cancer policy. “Uganda doesn’t have clear targets for the fight against cancer because we don’t have national cancer policy or national cancer control plan. The situation of most cancer patients is very bad; most of them have to travel long distances for diagnosis and treatment,” he said.