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Topic: Itchy nipples

Forum: Male Breast Cancer — For men who have been diagnosed or are at high risk.

Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:25PM, edited May 4, 2011 10:27PM by jdaniel

jdaniel wrote:

Hi guys (and girls) I am 30 this problem started a long time ago, if it was breast cancer I should be dead (I think) so it probably isnt but humour me.

 At puberty I had pain in my nipples basically right dead centra behind the nipple bumb or whatever u wanna call it at the back of it... basically it hurt like hell doctor said it was puberty it went away.

Fast foward I was about 20 or 21 in the army, It was an office job but I wore fatigues so it may have caused my nipples to itch. Whatever the case, it was REALLY bad, scratching caused some dark areas to form, doctors said it was scarring although it doesnt look like scars.. over the years my weight has fluctuated and this problem has come and gone.

 It started in asia and in north america I had it treated with mometasone fruoate which is a steriodal skin lotion and it seemed to help but it never really goes away. and due to my weight I can see whenever I get fat my right 'breast' is bigger than my left and thats the one that always itches the most, the nipples also look different, always have.

seeing how this has been going on for 10 years...do u guys think its probably a skin thing? I have seen doctors and they dont think its anything to worry about but they havent been able to really solve the itching either.

THANKS !!!!! 

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May 4, 2011 11:51PM, edited May 4, 2011 11:52PM by AnnNYC

Hi jdaniel,

I don't know much about this, but there is something called Paget's disease of the nipple, which accounts for about 5% of breast cancer cases, meaning it's quite rare in men, but it does happen.  Itching of the nipple is a major symptom.  (I'm not clear on this, but I think in some cases, Paget's can be noncancerous or at least "precancerous.")

Here are 2 links to descriptions:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/paget-breast

http://www.a-zbreastcancer.com/articles/pagets.htm

I don't want to scare you, but I just think if you are concerned, you should get an answer.  It would be good if you could see a doctor who specializes in breast cancer and has actually treated men with breast cancer.  Hopefully someone will come along with some recommendations, and more info than I have.

And hopefully, when you get this fully checked out by someone experienced, it will be a benign condition that's easy to treat!  But you deserve to get a complete answer,

Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 5, 2011 12:13AM sas-schatzi wrote:

JD---nipple itch can be a symptom of bc. I agree with Ann you should find a doc that will listen to you. You have made the first move which is to be concerned and asking for help. You said you were whereing fatigues,--veteran. Try that route and be right up front and say you want to be checked out for breast cancer. Don't take no for an answer. good luck

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting "holy crap....what a ride" SAS

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May 5, 2011 01:15AM jdaniel wrote:

Thanks for the responses.Yes but what I am wondering is its been going on and off for 10 years at least. If it was cancer I pretty much would be done by now right?

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May 5, 2011 03:24AM dogeyed wrote:

JDaniel,

Breast cancer can be in body rather long time, plus BC is usually slow-growing, and since one is larger than the other, I agree with other posters, GO IN, find a cancer clinic near you.  All my skin is sensitive, I have to wear very soft undergarments and put lotion all over my body, they make Lubriderm for men now, which I use the regular kind.

GG 

IBC, IDC, Melanoma/ 5 mos ACT chemo, mastectomy, rads to 11/2011, Arimidex 1 mo, NED 9/2012, two+yr survivor 5/2013

Dx 2/14/2011, IDC, 5cm, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+
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May 5, 2011 03:49AM ithaca wrote:

It's always good to be seen by a physician if you have symptoms that you don't understand or aren't getting better.

But it does sound more suggestive of a skin problem - seeing a dermatologist or your primary care physician might be a good starting point. (When you have the same problem in both breasts, it's less likely to be breast cancer and more likely to be some other systemic problem). 

Dx 8/1996, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+
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May 5, 2011 07:51AM sas-schatzi wrote:

Ithica., I respectfully disagree. Itching can be a symptom, plus he has noticed a size difference. He has had unsuccessful dermatology treatment. I had the same itching. It's a very unusual type itch it's deep and can't be stopped with a scratch or pressure. It was just one of those things that pushed me towards an elective and half way through he process, they found BC. This is not one of those well I had you must have it suggestions. This has been plaguing him for years. This is where reverse discrimination come in, if he were a woman---he would have been tested already.

If you are eligible for veterans benefits, go through them. I know they sometimes get a bad wrap. I had multiple patients from the VA. I was impressed with the care and response.

You are concerned JD , enough you found us here seeking advice. My twin had BC in 96. plus an unheard of number of family. Statistically it's a cluster. I had talked about an elective for years. Then talked with PCP for 3 years. Then certain things happened that pushed towards the elective. When the nipple itching started I did not know it could be a symptom----it was a bit of a surprise because I'd been around along time ,

Follow your instincts, see if you can't get an MRI vs mammo. Long shot, but at least ask. expect a no. If that doesn't work ask for an Ultrasound along with the mammo. Until you get the all clear, your mind will not be settled.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting "holy crap....what a ride" SAS

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May 5, 2011 10:08AM jdaniel wrote:

Yes.. thing is I am in a country where it would be quite difficult to get this looked at if I was in Canada it would not be so bad...

 It hasnt grown beyond by getting fat, although there has always been a size diff? I guess one tit bigger than the other doesnt only apply to women LOL

 The doctors at the dermatologist had wanted to do a biopsy years ago to see what kinds of skin issue it was but I chickened out.

I read somewhere it could be fungus kinda thing.. so what I am gonna do before I go somewhere to get this looked at is to apply lamasil, at the moment only the right one is itching,its hard to remember how it started again, maybe its the country I was in (where it started) I am also gonna put myself on ltraconazole religiously for maybe 2 weeks. If it doesnt go away it isnt a fungus then I guess I will go to the dermatologist and get refered.

I will keep you guys posted.. so far so good... been only a day but theres less itching. Also looks better maybe from the cream doesnt look so dry and dark. will keep u guys posted..  

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May 5, 2011 04:07PM EricV wrote:

jdaniel,

 I would just walk into a breast clinic and ask for them to look at it.  It may be embarasing (Trust me I know), but it could save your life.  I would avoid a general doctor in your case, and focus on someone who works with breast cancer.

 I have had a lump in my chest for 10 years, and I am newly diagnosed.  I am at Stage-IV becuase it was ignored for so long.  Every other docter said it was just a cyst and to ignore it.  So yes you can have Breast Cancer for 10 years and still be alive.

Eric

Dx 3/15/2011, 6cm+, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 5, 2011 05:24PM sas-schatzi wrote:

Eric -so sorry---it just is awful-------thank you for encouraging JD. Is there  guys thread. ? or are you alurker? No disrespect. If there is not a guys thread I would encourage you to start one. Please, Please. Throughtout my career I have met men who have had BC and survived because of early treatment. Your words to JD will get him to take action more than anything we could have said. Bless you Namaste sas-----------pm Me

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting "holy crap....what a ride" SAS

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May 5, 2011 07:28PM sas-schatzi wrote:

JD Please pay attention to Eric's words ------------------please

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting "holy crap....what a ride" SAS

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May 5, 2011 09:09PM AnnNYC wrote:

(((sas-schatzi))) -- this is the "Male Breast Cancer" forum or "guys' thread." Smile  I guess all us ladies are the lurkers here! 

(I know sometimes when something pops up on Active Topics, I don't always notice what forum it's in!  And sometimes, even when I see it's not "my" forum, if it's the middle of the night and a new member's first post is going unanswered, I'll try to answer, as I did here.)

JDaniel -- hope to hear good news from you.

Eric -- my thoughts are with you, hoping you are now getting good care and wishing you good response to treatment, i.e., hoping to hear good news (like "stable" or "No Evidence of Disease") from you too. Hugs, Ann

Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 5, 2011 09:16PM, edited May 6, 2011 09:25AM by sas-schatzi

ANN --- itchy nipples is the mans forum? what am i missing

Edit 5-6-11 Duh ----ANN Thanks

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting "holy crap....what a ride" SAS

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May 5, 2011 09:46PM AnnNYC wrote:

sas-schatzi -- up at the top left of the page, it says:

Forum: Male Breast Cancer             Topic: Itchy Nipples

Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 6, 2011 09:06AM, edited May 6, 2011 09:12AM by dogeyed

JDaniel,

Yes, women's breasts can be uneven, in fact most are.  But if I understand you correctly, one of yours has always been that way, so if I misunderstood it as a symptom, sorry.  But now, you mentioned the one is somewhat darker than the other, too, even tho lotion helped some, but that is yet another clue of BC.  Now, sure, it's almost for sure not cancer, rather some sort of benign growth or skin infection or whatever.  But since a dermatologist years ago wanted to do a biopsy, that was someone who KNOWS about all this stuff and HE wanted to be sure.  So, it boils down to being sure, and in the words of the man who was staring down the 357 Magnum of Dirty Harry's gun and said, "I gots to know," sir, you gots to know.  Reread what Eric posted about being at Stage IV, which means it has spread, a particularly scary situation.  As for being out of the country, if you can get the dermatologist you see to do a biopsy, and if results are suspicious, perhaps you can get some sick leave and take a plane back to Canada. 

GG

IBC, IDC, Melanoma/ 5 mos ACT chemo, mastectomy, rads to 11/2011, Arimidex 1 mo, NED 9/2012, two+yr survivor 5/2013

Dx 2/14/2011, IDC, 5cm, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+
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May 6, 2011 10:48AM EricV wrote:

JD,

Please listen to everyone and walk into a BC clinic and have them look.  You do not want to be where i am at.

 If you want to PM and talk about it, I would be happy to.

 Eric

Dx 3/15/2011, 6cm+, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 6, 2011 01:09PM Snobird wrote:

I am a Paget's survivor. You need a biopsy ASAP. The smoking gun here is that it is just on one side. I don't want to alarm you but a biopsy is not that big of a deal for the piece of mind it will give you if it is benign. If it is not you will be on your way to treatment and treatment saves lives. Please don't let it go any longer. BC can be in your tissues for a very long time before you have any noticeable symptons. Paget's is classically misdiagnosed as a skin disorder most of the time. Only a biopsy will clear you. Get it done.

Dx 10/2006, Paget's, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+Surgery 12/20/2006 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 02/15/2007 Lumpectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 03/07/2007 ExternalSurgery 12/06/2010 Mastectomy (Left); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)Surgery 11/17/2011 Reconstruction: Nipple reconstruction (Both)
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May 6, 2011 10:49PM jdaniel wrote:

a dermatologist can do this right? I was thinking of going back to the skin centre where they wanted to do a biopsy the last time and have them take a look for starters? what you guys think?

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May 7, 2011 07:58AM dogeyed wrote:

YES, JDANIEL, YES.  Let the dermatologist do the biopsy, not just have a look.  Insist on biopsy, becuz the one who sees you this time may not be as experienced, perhaps.  Yes, get the biopsy at the dermatologist! 

IBC, IDC, Melanoma/ 5 mos ACT chemo, mastectomy, rads to 11/2011, Arimidex 1 mo, NED 9/2012, two+yr survivor 5/2013

Dx 2/14/2011, IDC, 5cm, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+
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May 7, 2011 01:57PM, edited May 7, 2011 01:58PM by jdaniel

ok thanks all for the advice. I will call them Monday to get it looked at and also that long over due biopsy done. Will keep you guys appraised.

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May 13, 2011 03:12PM usetheforce wrote:

I am 36 y/o male diagnosed in Nov. 2010. The main symptom that I had that led me to find the lump and go to the doctor was itchiness.

Dx 11/17/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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May 13, 2011 04:50PM steelrose wrote:

Hi jdaniel, 

Yes, itchiness can be a symptom (it was for me), but it doesn't necessarily mean it's bc. I hope in your case, it is NOT! Wishing you the best...

Rose. 

Dx 1/22/2010, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 14, 2011 04:16AM jdaniel wrote:

I have some good news  it has been more than a week since I started Lamasil and Unitrac (Ltraconazole) x 2 a day to see if its fungus. I am happy to report there has been no more itching, just as weirdly as it has started it is pretty much gone.. the colour texture of my nipples has also improved drastically. I am not saying I wont go see a doctor but I am going to keep up with this treatment see how far the thing improves. See this is like my foot wart thing, doctors told me it was a corn but it was a festering wart/open sore under neath the corn caused me sooooo much pain.. I have to basically to fix myself... scrape n cut away at the corn n expose the open wart sore... THEN freeze it myself, doctors were just freezing it from outside wasnt doing anything to it..

 moral of the story, is to find the right diagnosis either through reading (as with this fungus thing) or through a good doctor for my foot wart.

 So lets see how far it improves if it continues to or not then we shall be able to say more than fungus or no.... if it is.. imagine that 10 years+ on and off suffering.... that would explain why mometasone furoate made it go away but didnt cure it.... I did not fix the root of the problem only the symptom. 

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May 14, 2011 05:50AM Snobird wrote:

If after you stop your self treatment and the itchiness returns you better seek the help of a BC doctor for a proper biopsy. I would rather have had the biopsy to rule out BC than to worry about it being BC in the back of my mind . A biopsy just takes such a small piece of tissue that procedure is nothing to fear. Only the outcome. And believe me a clear biopsy is dramatic relief.

Dx 10/2006, Paget's, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+Surgery 12/20/2006 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 02/15/2007 Lumpectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 03/07/2007 ExternalSurgery 12/06/2010 Mastectomy (Left); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)Surgery 11/17/2011 Reconstruction: Nipple reconstruction (Both)
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May 14, 2011 01:53PM sas-schatzi wrote:

Jd you are a stereotypical man-------------stubborn.        ahhhh(*&%$#$%.    go see a Breast doc for a real dx

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting "holy crap....what a ride" SAS

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May 15, 2011 07:51AM steelrose wrote:

jdaniel...

Men aren't the only stubborn ones. I was the queen of medical self diagnosis and self help. I was googling my symptoms right up until I was hauled off to the ER because I COULDN'T WALK!!!! The next morning I was in surgery, diagnosed with Stage IV, and the doctor said I had a 50/50 chance of walking again. Thankfully I was able to battle back, but my point is it is better to be SAFE than SORRY! I hope you will see the doctor for that biopsy, so you can rule out bc once and for all. The time and energy wasted on speculation could be put to much better use!

Wishing you well!

Rose.

Dx 1/22/2010, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 18, 2011 12:52PM EricV wrote:

JD, glad to hear you saw a doctor, but I still really recomend you have a biopsy.  I know your like me, but it will be better in the long run...Trust me!

Dx 3/15/2011, 6cm+, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 30, 2011 07:02AM jdaniel wrote:

Yes I wil definitely go see a doctor soon, but I am just happy I am not itching for the moment.