Thursday, September 26, 2019

Male Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Risks, Treatment

What is male breast cancer? 
Male breast cancer is a rare cancer that forms in the breast tissues of men. Men have breast tissue, so they can get breast cancer.  Male breast cancer is common in older men, though it can occur at any age. Men diagnosed with male breast cancer at an early stage have a good chance of surviving long.

(2) What is male breast called?
Enlarged breast tissue in male is a condition known as gynecomastia. Other term used for it is “man boobs”. This condition is not permanent so you need not to worry about it.

(3) How many males die from breast cancer?

  • About 1% of all breast cancer cases in the United States occur in men.
  • About 400 men in the United States die from breast cancer each year.
  • About 2,000 new cases are expected every year.


(4) Is male breast cancer painful?
The main symptom of male breast cancer is a lump in the breast area. Usually lump in breast is painless.

Article Covers: Male Breast Cancer                   Reading Time: 6 Minutes

(5) How is male breast cancer diagnosed?
Symptoms of male breast cancer are same as those in women. Mostly, male breast cancers are diagnosed when a man discovers a lump on his breast. But unlike women, men ignore these things and do not give much attention to it. And when symptoms get more severe such as bleeding from the nipples, then they consult a doctor. Breast cancer is curable completely if diagnosed in early stages.

(6) What are the risk factors associated with male breast cancer?

Risk Factors of Male Breast Cancer:

Factors that increase the risk are following:

  • The risk of breast cancer increases with advancing age as it is most often diagnosed in men in their 60s.
  • If you have a close family member with breast cancer, you have a greater chance of developing the disease.
  • Obese people have higher risks of breast cancer.
  • Increased levels of female hormones (estrogens) and decreased levels of male hormones (androgen) may increase the chances of developing breast cancer in male.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver diminishes male hormones and increase female hormones thus increasing your risk of breast cancer.
  • Intake of estrogen-related drugs also increases the risk of breast cancer in men.
  • Orchiectomy (surgery to remove a testicle) or orchitis (inflamed testicles) can increase risk of male breast cancer.
  • Hormone therapy for prostate cancer may increase risk of developing breast cancer in male.


(7) What are the symptoms of male breast cancer?

Signs and symptoms of male breast cancer:


  • Breast pain
  • Pain in the bone
  • Changes in the skin covering your breast
  • Change in the nipples such that nipple begins to turn inward
  • Dimpling on the breast
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Lump in the breast area
  • Nipple retraction and ulceration
  • Redness or scaling on the breast
  • Skin puckering
  • Swelling in the lymph glands


(8) What is the survival rate of breast cancer in male?
How long can men live with breast cancer?
Survival rates are just averages and vary depending on diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Five year survival rate in men in this case means that 84% male will live for five years after the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Male Breast Cancer
Male Breast Cancer


The 5 year survival rates for male breast cancer are:

Survival rates are 96% when cancer affects only the breast tissues
Survival rates decrease to 84% when it affects nearby areas as well as the breast itself
Survival rate goes more down to 23% when breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body

The 10-year relative survival rate for men with breast cancer is 71%.

(9) What is the real cause of breast cancer in men?
The real cause of breast cancer in men is not known but doctors believe that male breast cancer occurs when some breast cells divide in an unchecked manner. These abnormal cell form a tumor that may spread (metastasize) to nearby tissues, to the lymph nodes or to other vital organs of the body such as lungs, liver, and brain.

(10) Can testosterone cause breast cancer in men?
Men with breast cancer should never take testosterone as it causes breast cancer cells to grow.

(11) What are the causes of breast cancer in men?

Causes of male breast cancer:


  • Alcohol consumption increases the risks of breast cancer to major extent.
  • Around 20% men with breast cancer have a close family member with the condition.
  • Genetic mutations may increase the risk of breast cancer. Mutation in genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 is associated to breast cancer.
  • Less physical activities may increase the risk.
  • Radiation exposure to chest may also e the cause of breast cancer.
  • Family history of breast cancer is also a cause of breast cancer.
  • Surgery of testicles may also cause breast cancer in men.
  • Workers in the areas that are exposed to organic solvents such that in steel and rolling mills, have higher risks of developing breast cancer.
  • Male having Klinefelter syndrome have a 20-60 times higher risks of developing breast cancer than normal person.


(12) What are the types of breast cancer in men?

Types of breast cancer in men:

Ductal carcinoma:

It is the type of breast cancer that develops in in the milk ducts. Nearly all breast cancer in men is ductal carcinoma.

Lobular carcinoma:

This type of male breast cancer is rare as there are few lobules in the male breast tissues. This type begins in the milk-producing glands.

Other rare types of breast cancer that can occur in men are:
Inflammatory breast cancer

Paget's disease of the nipple

(13) How common is breast cancer in men?
Male breast cancer is rare. Breast cancer in men has a probability of only one in a thousand men. Less than one percent of all breast cancer cases develop in male.

(14) How are men diagnosed with breast cancer?
Where does male breast cancer occur?
Cells in nearly any part of the body can grow in uncontrolled manner and thus give rise to cancer. Many people do not realize that men have breast tissue and that they can develop into breast cancer and spread to other parts of body.

Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow in uncontrolled way thus giving rise to a growth or lump on the breast. Lumps on breast then convert into cancer and it may spread nearby tissues.

Tests to diagnose breast cancer may include a mammogram (breast X-ray) or an ultrasound. A biopsy is the definitive way to diagnose a breast cancer.  Nipple discharge test may also be helpful in the diagnosis of breast cancer.

(15) What does men breast cancer look like?
What does a male breast cancer lump feel like?

It is like a painless lump or thickening in breast tissue. Dimpling, puckering, scaling, or redness of breast skin and changes to your nipple or turning of nipples inward are the ways to detect breast cancer.

(16) Is it normal for a guy to have a lump in his breast?
What causes lump in male breast?

What causes a man's breast to enlarge?

Gynecomastia (guy-nuh-koh-MAS-tee-uh) is a condition when breast tissue enlarges.
This is caused due to the imbalance in the levels of estrogen and testosterone. It results in an overgrowth of breast tissue in males. Newborns, adults, and older men may develop gynecomastia due to normal changes in hormone levels. In fact, about half of all adults develop gynecomastia during puberty. Gynecomastia is usually a temporary condition.

(17) Do more men die from breast cancer?
The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of men live at least 5 years after the breast cancer is diagnosed. Percent means how many out of 100. Overall, the 5-year survival rate for men with breast cancer is 83.9%. It is estimated that five hundred men will die from breast cancer this year.

(18) Is male breast cancer painful? Why Does My breast hurt male?

Is sharp breast pain a sign of cancer?

What causes pain in male breast?
Gynecomastia results in an overgrowth of breast tissue in young and adult males. This condition can also cause breast pain. But it is normal. You must worry when you find a new growth or lump on the skin of your breasts. This may be dangerous as it may be cancerous or convert into cancer.

  • Cancerous tumors are not reported as painful, generally.
  • Rarely, a breast tumor may cause pain.
  • Breast pain is usually present to some degree with Inflammatory Breast Cancer


(19) How do you check for male breast lumps?
A complete breast exam will be done to find any lumps. The doctor may also examine the rest of your body to look for enlarged lymph nodes (especially under your arm).

(20) Can men inherit breast cancer?

What percent of male breast cancer is hereditary?
Men can also inherit a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is approximately 1% with the BRCA1 gene mutation. While in case of BRCA2 gene mutation, the risk may be 6%. BR stands for BReast, and CA stands for Cancer. Men who inherit BRCA mutations have an increased risk of male breast cancer. Their children have a 50% chance of carrying the same gene mutation.

(21) What causes itchy nipples in males?
Atopic dermatitis causes itchy breast or nipples. Atopic dermatitis can cause dry skin, itching, and rash. This is an inflammation of the skin also known as eczema.

(22) Where breast cancer begins in men?
Everyone is born with a small amount of breast tissue. During adolescence, women grow more breast tissue, while men do not. Breast tissue consists of milk-producing glands known as lobules, ducts that carry milk to the nipples, and fat. As men have small breast tissue, so they may also develop breast cancer.

(23) What you must know about male breast cancer?

  • About 40% of men with breast cancer receive a diagnosis in stage 3 or 4.
  • Survival rates for men are fewer than women.
  • Male breast cancer is a relatively rare cancer.
  • Male breast cancer is often diagnosed in the later stages.
  • Breast cancer in male accounts for less than 1% of all cancer types worldwide.
  • Males have a small amount of breast tissue as compared with females.


(24) Is male breast cancer curable?
Male breast cancer is diagnosed at late stages. Any type of cancer found at a later stage may be less likely to be cured. If breast cancer in male is diagnosed early then it is curable.


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