Condition 101 About Breast Cancer in Men

What is the definition of Breast Cancer in Men?

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.

What are the alternative names for Breast Cancer in Men?

Infiltrating ductal carcinoma - male; Ductal carcinoma in situ - male; Intraductal carcinoma - male; Inflammatory breast cancer - male; Paget disease of the nipple - male; Breast cancer - male

What are the causes for Breast Cancer in Men?

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
  • Heredity, such as a family history of breast cancer, mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, and certain genetic disorders, such as Klinefelter syndrome
  • Excess breast tissue (gynecomastia)
  • Older age -- men are often diagnosed with breast cancer between ages 60 to 70

What are the symptoms for Breast Cancer in Men?

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.

What are the current treatments for Breast Cancer in Men?

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.

What are the support groups for Breast Cancer in Men?

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.

Ask your provider to help you find a support group of men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Breast Cancer in Men?

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.

What are the possible complications for Breast Cancer in Men?

Complications include side effects from surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

When should I contact a medical professional for Breast Cancer in Men?

Contact your provider right away if you notice something unusual about your breast, including any lumps, skin changes, or discharge.

How do I prevent Breast Cancer in Men?

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

REFERENCES

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 August 28, 2020. Accessed October 19, 2020.

Top Global Doctors For Breast Cancer in Men

Latest Advances On Breast Cancer in Men

  • Condition: Non-Metastatic Male Breast Cancer
  • Journal: Cancer
  • Treatment Used: Chemotherapy
  • Number of Patients: 2713
  • Published —
This study assessed the relationship between adjuvant chemotherapy and survival in patients with early-stage male breast cancer.
  • Condition: Male Breast Cancer
  • Journal: British journal of cancer
  • Treatment Used: Tamoxifen
  • Number of Patients: 448
  • Published —
The purpose of the study was to examine the survival effect of tamoxifen in male breast cancer patients.

Clinical Trials For Breast Cancer in Men

Clinical Trial
  • Status: Not yet recruiting
  • Intervention Type: Other
  • Participants: 1000
  • Start Date: March 2021
Prospective Database for Colonic or Rectal Resection Surgery Patients
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Not yet recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Behavioral
  • Participants: 200
  • Start Date: February 2021
Mobile Device CBT for Chemotherapy-Related Cognitive Dysfunction: A Multi-Center Randomized Controlled Trial