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About Male Breast Cancer, Gynecomastia, And Testing

Most medical centers routinely perform or require that breast tissue be sent to pathology for histologic examination.  The authors of the article (referenced below) question whether this is useful when the breast tissue excised comes from an adolescent male with gynecomastia considering the benign nature of the condition.

Furthermore, the authors point out male breast cancer is rare and when it does occur it is most often in older males, not adolescent males:

In 2009, there were an estimated 1,910 new cases and 440 deaths related to male breast cancer, accounting for just 0.25% and 0.15% of all new cases of cancer and cancer deaths for males in the entire United States, respectively, with historical cohorts demonstrating that the peak incidence of male breast cancer occurs at approximately 71 years of age. More significantly, breast cancer becomes increasingly uncommon among younger age groups.

To look at the issue, the authors did a retrospective chart review  of their patients younger than 21 years of age who had undergone subcutaneous mastectomy for gynecomastia between 1999 and 2010. A review of the literature was done, as was an informal survey of major children’s hospitals regarding their practice of histologic examination for adolescent gynecomastia. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Male Laptop Users: Beware Of An Overheated “Lap”

83kdkjj.jpgMale readers be advised! Using your laptop placed on your knees to read this post may cause your testicles to heat up quite significantly. However surprisingly, this is not due to the heat dissipated by many laptops, but rather due to the positioning of the legs. A study just published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility investigated ways to avoid the testicles from overheating while using a laptop computer.

Right and left scrotal temperatures were measured in 29 volunteers while working on the laptop in different positions: With closely approximated legs, with closely approximated legs with a lap pad below the laptop, and sitting with legs apart at a 70° angle with a lap pad below the laptop. After 60 minutes with closed legs, temperature increased about 2.4 degrees Celsius, using the lap pad yielded a slightly smaller increase of 2.1 degrees, while spreading the legs resulted in a modest increase of 1.4 degrees.

The authors conclude that prevention of scrotal hyperthermia in laptop users is not feasible, although we would like to disagree and suggest using a flat surface, such as a table or desk, to position your laptop in order to preserve your fertility.

Article abstract: Protection from scrotal hyperthermia in laptop computer users…

Image credit: Pitel…

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Do You Have “Low T?”

If you google “low testosterone” you’ll see lots of ads for testosterone replacement. Some are from pharmaceutical companies that sell testosterone, others from obvious snake-oil salesmen.

Both types of ads list vague sets of symptoms, encourage you to believe that they are pathologic, and want to sell you something to make you better. For example, the pharmaceutical company Solvay gives you a handy guide for speaking to your doctor, and a quiz to see if you have “low T.” The quiz asks some questions that may be useful, but also asks very general questions about your sense of well being. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Tips For A Healthy Shave

How many blades do we need to shave?

I’m a man. I use a two-blade razor. This might surprise you. I have the means, so why don’t I use the latest five-blade-vibrating-titanium tool? Any razor good enough for Tiger Woods and Derek Jeeter should be good enough for me, right? 

Advanced technology doesn’t always make a product better. Think of your universal remote control — it has half a dozen buttons you’ve probably never pushed and, if it’s like mine, changing the channel is a complicated affair. 

Last week a patient of mine, who looks a lot like Javier Bardem, came to my office frustrated. He had been using the latest-blade razor and had red razor bumps on his neck and cheeks. Why? 

Because there is such a thing as a shave that is too close. If your beard is cut at or below the level of the skin, then the hair can become trapped when it regrows. The coiled hair continues to grow downward causing a painful, red razor bump. For some men, the closer the shave, the more likely they’ll have this problem. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Dermatology Blog*

American Cancer Society Debunks Prostate Cancer Screening Myths

Dr. Otis Brawley has taken the gloves off on prostate cancer screening.

Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society (ACS), makes some powerful statements about controversies in prostate cancer screening in a new YouTube video that is billed as the first of a series that the ACS will post on discussions with its officials.

Key nuggets from this video — not surprising to anyone who has followed this debate or Brawley’s past comments — include these quotes:

I’m very concerned. There’s a lot of publicity out there – some of it by people who want to make money by recruiting patients – that oversimplifies this – that says that ‘prostate cancer screening clearly saves lives.’ That is a lie. We don’t know that for sure…

…We’re very concerned about a number of clinics that are offering mass screening where informed decision making – where a man gets told the truth about screening and is allowed without pressure to make a decision – that’s not happening. Many of these free screening things, by the way, are designed more to get patients for hospitals and clinics and doctors than they are to benefit the patients. That’s a huge ethical issue that needs to be addressed.

We’re not against prostate cancer screening. We’re against a man being duped and deceived into getting prostate cancer screening.” 

*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*

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