Overview – Breast cancer in men

All babies are born with breast tissue that contains milk ducts. Though it develops differently over time, both men and women can get breast cancer. Women have a much higher risk. Less than 1% of all breast cancer cases are in men.

It’s not clear what causes male breast cancer but doctors know that male breast cancer is caused by uncontrolled cell growth in your breast tissue, and scientists are still researching what causes healthy cells to become cancer cells. Meanwhile, they’ve identified multiple risk factors that may increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

The lymph nodes (lymph glands) in the armpit area are usually also sampled at the time the mastectomy is performed. This may be done with:

Breast Cancer Can and Does Happen to Men | The Woodlands Journal

Symptoms – Breast cancer in men

Breast Cancer in Men| Early Symptoms, Risk Factors Involved And Treatment

Speak to your breast care nurse if you’d like to know more about the outlook for your cancer.

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What Causes Breast Cancer in Men?

a painless scan using soundwaves to create a picture of your breast

A cure is much less likely if the cancer is found after it has spread beyond the breast. In these cases, treatment can relieve your symptoms and help you live longer.

Overview – Breast cancer in men

Double mastectomies for men with breast cancer on rise

Susan G. Komen: “Breast Cancer in Men.”

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Diagnosis of breast cancer in men

If you are a male with breast cancer, you should consider talking to a genetics counselor to see if genetic testing is right for you. A simple blood test can determine if you have certain genes that could make it more likely for you to get certain other cancers as well.

Your doctor can check the stage of your cancer with bone, CT, or PET (positron emission tomography) scans. Breast cancer stages range from 0 to IV. Stage 0 means that the cancer hasn’t left the milk ducts. Stage IV means it’s spread to other parts of your body. This is also called metastatic cancer. Once you know your stage, your doctor can narrow down your treatment options.

where a small sample of tissue is removed and examined under microscope by a specialist.

Visual Guide to Male Breast Cancer


Surgery is the most common treatment for male breast cancer. It usually involves a mastectomy, which removes your breast tissue, nipple and areola, and any surrounding lymph nodes where the cancer may have spread. Radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or chemotherapy may also be used to slow growth and kill cancer cells.

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Hormone therapy may be used in addition to other treatments. Hormone therapy aims to block the effect of oestrogen or reduce the amount of oestrogen in the body. They are effective treatment for breast cancer that has oestrogen (ER) receptors. These are taken as tablets, usually for a five or ten year course.

In some cases of breast cancer, your medical team may talk to you about palliative care. Palliative care aims to improve your quality of life by alleviating symptoms of cancer.

Breast cancer in men

Male breast cancer

It’s very unlikely you have cancer, but it’s best to get your symptoms checked. Your GP will examine your breast and can refer you for tests and scans for breast cancer if needed.

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Outlook for breast cancer in men

The exact cause of breast cancer in men is not known, but there are some things that increase your risk of getting it.

It’s not certain that you can do anything to reduce your risk, but eating a balanced diet, losing weight if you’re overweight and not drinking too much alcohol may help.

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