Male breast cancer happens and here is everything you need to know about it

Updated on:25 January 2020, 13:50pm IST
Not just women, even men are susceptible to breast cancer. From diagnosis to treatment, here are some facts you need to know about the disease.
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Male breast cancer might be a rarity, but it is still deadly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

When it comes to good health and women, screening breast cancer is almost always recommended. From risk factor to self-breast examinations–there is a plethora of information out there on what we should do. But, did you know that men are also susceptible to breast cancer? In fact, male breast cancer represents between 0.5 and one per cent of all breast cancers diagnosed each year.

Although rare, male breast cancer is still a threat to the men in our lives. Here, Dr Kumardeep Dutta Choudhury, senior consultant and head of department, Medical Oncology (IOSPL), Fortis Hospital, Noida, shares everything you need to know about this disease.

Genetics and family history play a big role
Family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among men. Approximately 15 to 20% of men with breast cancer have a family history of the disease.

Alterations in the oestrogen to androgen ratio are also to blame
Excessive oestrogen stimulation could happen due to hormonal therapies, hepatic dysfunction, obesity, marijuana use, thyroid disease, or an inherited condition, such as Klinefelter syndrome. This increases the risk of breast cancer in men. Primary testicular conditions could also be responsible
Testicular conditions may increase the risk of breast cancer in men including orchitis, undescended testes (cryptorchidism), and testicular injury.

The symptoms of breast cancer in men usually go undiagnosed
Male breast cancer is diagnosed at a more advanced stage than female breast cancer, due to a lack of awareness. They generally present with a painless, firm mass that is usually subareolar, with nipple involvement in 40 to 50% of cases.

The left breast is involved slightly more often than the right, and less than one per cent of cases are bilateral. There may be associated skin changes, including nipple retraction, ulceration, or fixation of the mass to the skin or underlying tissues. Axillary nodes are typically palpable in advanced cases.

The treatment for breast cancer in men is the same as it is for women
While the approach to the treatment is the same, the role of breast-conserving surgery is limited because of the small volume of breast tissue.

You can prevent male breast cancer to a certain extent
While you can’t fight your genes, leading a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, limited alcohol consumption, and regular exercise can reduce your risk a little.

With inputs from IANS

1 Comment

  1. I have Male Breast Cancer from 2011 – due to exposure from 9/11. I have no family history of breast cancer. I have so far been clear of continuing breast cancer. Doctors treated me in 2011 like women and created massive blood clots in my left lung and leg – I am lucky to be alive. DO NOT take Tomoxifin.

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