Male Breast Cancer Information

Breast cancer in men is rare, but can occur. 

Male breast cancer is the development of cancerous cells in the breast duct of a man’s body. Many people are not aware that it is possible for men to develop breast cancer, particularly because it most commonly occurs in women. But men do have breast tissue in which cancer can form.

Men have less breast tissue, so it is usually easier to detect the condition earlier in men than in women. However, because many men do not think they can get breast cancer, they often ignore breast lumps and do not seek medical treatment soon enough.

Causes of Breast Cancer in Men

There are a number of risk factors that have been shown to increase the likelihood of a male developing breast cancer, including:

  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Older age
  • Inherited gene mutations
  • Radiation exposure
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Liver disease
  • Obesity
  • Estrogen treatment
  • Testicular conditions
  • Klinefelter syndrome, a rare genetic, congenital disease

Symptoms of Male Breast Cancer

Men with breast cancer often experience symptoms very similar to the ones women with breast cancer experience, including:

  • A lump in the breast tissue
  • Breast pain
  • Swelling, thickening, redness or scaling of breast skin
  • Dimpling of the breast skin or nipple
  • Abnormal changes in breast or nipple appearance
  • An inverted nipple
  • Abnormal pain in breast or nipple
  • Nipple discharge or bleeding

Diagnosing Breast Cancer in Men

Diagnosing male breast cancer typically involves:

  • A physical examination
  • A mammogram
  • A image-guided biopsy
  • Ultrasound

Treatments for Male Breast Cancer

Male patients showing signs of breast cancer should not feel embarrassed to make an appointment with a breast cancer specialist at Tampa General Hospital’s Cancer Institute. The sooner cancer is found, the easier it is to fully treat. Our experts will consider the cancer’s stage and a patient’s overall health and preferences.

A treatment plan for triple-negative breast cancer may involve:

  • Surgery to remove breast tissue and/or lymph nodes
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy