Breast cancer in menInfiltrating ductal carcinoma - male; Ductal carcinoma in situ - male; Intraductal carcinoma - male; Inflammatory breast cancer - male; Paget disease of the nipple - male; Breast cancer - male
Breast cancer is cancer that starts in breast tissue. Both males and females have breast tissue. This means that anyone, including men and boys, can develop breast cancer.
Breast cancer in men is rare. Male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of all breast cancers.
The cause of breast cancer in men is not clear. But there are risk factors that make breast cancer more likely in men:
- Exposure to radiation
- Higher estrogen levels due to factors such as heavy drinking, cirrhosis, obesity, and some medicines to treat prostate cancer
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- Heredity, such as a family history of breast cancer, mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, and certain genetic disorders, such as Klinefelter syndrome
BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene
The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene test is a blood test that can tell you if you have a higher risk of getting cancer. The name BRCA comes from the first two ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Excess breast tissue (gynecomastia)
- Older age -- men are often diagnosed with breast cancer between ages 60 to 70
Symptoms of breast cancer in men include:
- Lump or swelling in the breast tissue. One breast may be larger than the other.
- A small lump beneath the nipple.
- Unusual changes in the nipple or skin around the nipple such as redness, scaling, or puckering.
- Nipple discharge.
Exams and Tests
Your health care provider will take your medical history and family medical history. You will have a physical exam and a breast exam.
Your provider may order other tests, including:
- A mammogram.
- Breast ultrasound.
- An MRI of the breast.
- If any of the tests suggest cancer, your provider will do a biopsy to check for cancer.
If cancer is found, your provider will order other tests to find out:
- How quickly the cancer might grow
- How likely it is to spread
- What treatments might be best
- What are the chances that the cancer might come back
The tests may include:
- Bone scan
- CT scan
- PET scan
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy to check if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
The biopsy and other tests will be used to grade and stage the tumor. The results of those tests will help determine your treatment.
Grade and stage the tumor
Once your health care team knows you have breast cancer, they will do more tests to stage it. Staging is a tool the team uses to find out how advanc...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Treatment options for breast cancer in men include:
- Surgery to remove the breast, lymph nodes under the arm, the lining over chest muscles, and chest muscles, if needed
- Radiation therapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and to target specific tumors
- Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body
- Hormone therapy to block hormones that may help certain types of breast cancer grow
During and after treatment, your provider may ask you to have more tests. This may include tests you had during diagnosis. The follow-up tests will show how the treatment is working. They will also show if the cancer comes back.
If the cancer comes back
One of the most common fears for people who have had cancer is that it may return. When cancer comes back, it is called recurrence. Cancer can recu...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Cancer affects how you feel about yourself and your life. You can ease the stress of illness by joining a cancer support group. Sharing with others who have had the same experiences and problems can help you feel less alone. The group can also point you to helpful resources for managing your condition.
Cancer support group
The following organizations are good resources for information on cancer:American Cancer Society -- www. cancer. orgAmerican Childhood Cancer Organiz...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Ask your provider to help you find a support group of men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The long-term outlook for men with breast cancer is excellent when the cancer is found and treated early.
- About 91% of men treated before cancer has spread to other areas of the body are cancer-free after 5 years.
- Almost 3 out of 4 men treated for cancer that has spread to lymph nodes but not to other areas of the body are cancer-free at 5 years.
- Men who have cancer that has spread to distant parts of the body have a smaller chance of long-term survival.
Complications include side effects from surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Contact your provider right away if you notice something unusual about your breast, including any lumps, skin changes, or discharge.
There is no clear way to prevent breast cancer in men. The best way to protect yourself is to:
- Know that men can develop breast cancer
- Know your risk factors and talk with your provider about screening and early detection with tests if needed
- Know the possible signs of breast cancer
- Tell your provider if you notice any changes in your breast
Hunt KK, Mittendorf EA. Diseases of the breast. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 34.
Jain S, Gradishar WJ. Male breast cancer. In: Bland KI, Copeland EM, Klimberg VS, Gradishar WJ, eds. The Breast: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 76.
National Cancer Institute website. Male breast cancer treatment (PDQ) - health professional version. www.cancer.gov/types/breast/hp/male-breast-treatment-pdq. Updated February 8, 2018. Accessed August 22, 2018.
Review Date: 7/26/2018
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.