Consumer Health: Breast cancer in men

Breast cancer could also be regarded as a illness that impacts solely women. It’s the second-most widespread cancer recognized in women in the U.S., and it’ll have an effect on 1 in 8 women, in accordance with the American Cancer Society. Much of the messaging round breast cancer analysis focuses on the illness in women. However, breast cancer can occur in men as effectively.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which makes this a great time to find out about breast cancer in men.

An estimated 2,800 new instances of invasive breast cancer will likely be recognized in men in the U.S. this 12 months, and about 530 men will die from the illness, in accordance with the American Cancer Society. Men recognized with breast cancer at an early stage have a great probability for a treatment.


Signs and signs of male breast cancer can embody:

  • A painless lump or thickening in your breast tissue.
  • Changes to the pores and skin masking your breast, equivalent to dimpling, puckering, redness or scaling.
  • Changes to your nipple, equivalent to redness or scaling, or a nipple that begins to show inward.
  • Discharge out of your nipple.

Risk components

Factors that enhance the danger of male breast cancer embody:

  • Older age.
    The threat of breast cancer will increase as you age. Male breast cancer is most frequently recognized in men in their 60s.
  • Exposure to estrogen.
    If you’re taking estrogen-related medicine, equivalent to these used for hormone remedy for prostate cancer, your threat of breast cancer is elevated.
  • Family historical past of breast cancer.
    If you’ve gotten an in depth member of the family with breast cancer, you’ve gotten a larger probability of creating the illness.
  • Klinefelter syndrome.
    This genetic syndrome happens when boys are born with multiple copy of the X chromosome. Klinefelter syndrome could adversely have an effect on testicular progress, ensuing in smaller than regular testicles, which might result in decrease manufacturing of testosterone. 
  • Liver illness.
    Certain circumstances, equivalent to cirrhosis of the liver, can scale back male hormones and enhance feminine hormones, rising your threat of breast cancer.
  • Obesity.
    Obesity is related to greater ranges of estrogen in the body, which will increase the danger of male breast cancer.
  • Testicle illness or surgical procedure.
    Having infected testicles or surgical procedure to take away a testicle can enhance your threat of male breast cancer.

Some men inherit mutated genes from their mother and father that enhance the danger of breast cancer. Mutations in certainly one of a number of genes, particularly a gene referred to as BRCA2, put you at larger threat of creating breast and prostate cancers.

If you’ve gotten a robust household historical past of cancer, focus on this together with your healthcare group. They could advocate that you simply meet with a genetic counselor in order to think about genetic testing to see for those who carry genes that enhance your threat of cancer.


Male breast cancer treatment typically includes surgical procedure to take away the tumor and surrounding breast tissue. Radiation remedy, hormone remedy and chemotherapy additionally could also be advisable. If you’ve got been recognized with breast cancer, your therapy will likely be primarily based on the stage of your cancer, your total health and your preferences.

Connect with different men residing with male breast cancer in the Breast Cancer Support Group on Mayo Clinic Connect, an internet affected person neighborhood moderated by Mayo Clinic.

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