Symptoms Of Breast Cancer In Men
The most common symptom for men with breast cancer include:
- lump in the breast that is nearly always painless
- oozing from the nipple that may be blood stained
- a nipple that is pulled into the breast
- swelling of the breast
- a sore in the skin of the breast
- lump or swelling under the arm
- a rash on or around the nipple
If you have any of these symptoms it is important to go to your GP straight away. Finding a cancer early gives the best chance of successful treatment.
What Are The Possible Symptoms
The signs can include:
Lumps. Men with breast cancer usually have one or more. They might show up on your chest or under your armpit. They tend to be painless.
Breast changes. You might notice a difference in the size or shape of your breast area.
Skin changes. Parts of your breast may look:
- Dimpled, sometimes resembling the texture of an orange peel
- Puckered, meaning folded or wrinkled looking
- Scaly, red, or swollen
Nipple problems. Your nipple may turn inward, or leak fluid thatâs clear or bloody. The skin around it may also have redness, swelling, or scaling.
In general, breast cancer causes similar symptoms in men and women.
How Is Breast Cancer Similar In Both Men And Women
Both men and women may have breast cancer cells in the lymph nodes. The patterns of the spread of cancer are similar. The staging system for male breast cancer is the same as the staging system for female breast cancer. Breast cancer in both men and women are assessed in the same way to determine the prognosis. This includes the size of the lesion and whether or not lymph nodes have cancer cells. These factors affect the choice and outcome of treatment. Overall survival rates are similar in both men and women with breast cancer. Although male breast cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage.
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Men With Breast Cancer Usually Have Lumps That Can Be Felt
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast.
- A nipple turned inward into the breast.
- Fluid from the nipple, especially if it’s bloody.
- Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola .
- Dimples in the breast that look like the skin of an orange, called peau dorange.
Can I Prevent Male Breast Cancer
You may not be able to prevent breast cancer. But you can lower your risk of developing the disease by maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding excess alcohol and getting plenty of exercise.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor. You may consider genetic testing to see if you have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation. These gene changes increase your risk of breast cancer. People with these gene changes should visit their healthcare provider regularly and get frequent cancer screenings.
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If Cancer Is Found Tests Are Done To Study The Cancer Cells
- How quickly the cancer may grow.
- How likely it is that the cancer will spread through the body.
- How well certain treatments might work.
- How likely the cancer is to recur .
Tests include the following:
- Estrogen and progesterone receptor test: A test to measure the amount of estrogen and progesterone receptors in cancer tissue. If there are more estrogen and progesterone receptors than normal, the cancer is called estrogen and/or progesterone receptor positive. This type of breast cancer may grow more quickly. The test results show whether treatment to block estrogen and progesterone may stop the cancer from growing.
- HER2 test: A laboratory test to measure how many HER2/neu genes there are and how much HER2/neu protein is made in a sample of tissue. If there are more HER2/neu genes or higher levels of HER2/neu protein than normal, the cancer is called HER2/neu positive. This type of breast cancer may grow more quickly and is more likely to spread to other parts of the body. The cancer may be treated with drugs that target the HER2/neu protein, such as trastuzumab and pertuzumab.
What Is The Best Treatment For Male Breast Cancer
Your doctor will to remove your breast cancer tumor, and you may need more care after that. The best combination of treatments for male breast cancer depends on the type and stage and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. You will work with your cancer care team, including cancer surgeons, oncologists , and your primary care doctor before deciding which treatment options are best for you.
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When Should You Call The Doctor
Pick up the phone right away if you notice any of the signs above. If breast cancer is causing your symptoms, tests can help your doctor spot it early, improving your chances for successful treatment. Guys with the disease tend to get diagnosed when their cancer is in a later stage, which can make it harder to treat.
So, if you notice a lump in your breast or any other symptoms that concern you, donât wait for them to go away on their own. Call your doctor, even if the possibility of having breast cancer makes you uncomfortable. Thereâs nothing to feel embarrassed about.
Let your doctor know if you have close relatives with breast cancer. It runs in families, so that could increase your odds.
But remember, having one or more of the symptoms doesnât necessarily mean you have breast cancer. Itâs not common for guys to get this disease, especially if youâre under 60. Overall, less than 1% of all breast cancer cases happen in men.
Other conditions could be to blame for your symptoms. Your doctor can find out for sure.
Treatments For Breast Cancer In Men
The treatment for breast cancer in men depends on how far the cancer has spread.
Possible treatments include:
- surgery to remove the affected breast tissue and nipple and some of the glands in your armpit
- radiotherapy where radiation is used to kill cancer cells
- chemotherapy where cancer medicine is used to kill cancer cells
- other medicines that help stop breast cancer growing including tamoxifen and trastuzumab
Many men have surgery followed by 1 or more of the other treatments. This can help stop the cancer coming back in the future.
Read more about treatments for breast cancer in men.
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Certain Factors Affect Prognosis And Treatment Options
The prognosis and treatment options depend on the following:
- The stage of the cancer .
- The type of breast cancer.
- Estrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor levels in the tumor tissue.
- Whether the cancer is also found in the other breast.
- The mans age and general health.
- Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred .
How To Reduce Risk
There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, but there are certain steps a person can take to lower their risk.
Actions that may lower the risk of breast cancer include:
- Get to a healthy weight: High body weight and weight gain as an adult increase the risk of breast cancer after menopause. The
Several benign breast conditions can cause symptoms that resemble those of cancer. Some of these issues require treatment, while others go away on their own.
Though these conditions are benign, they can cause:
- discomfort or pain
Some common benign breast conditions include:
If a person is unsure what is causing any breast-related symptom, they should talk with a doctor as soon as possible.
As with most cancers, early breast cancer detection and treatment leads to a better outcome. People should attend regular breast examinations and tell a doctor about any breast-related symptoms or changes.
According to the ACS , when a doctor diagnoses breast cancer before it has spread beyond the breast, the relative 5-year survival rate is 99%.
Relative survival rates can help people understand the likelihood of treatment being successful. A relative 5-year survival rate indicates the percentage of people living 5 years after their diagnosis compared to people without the disease.
When breast cancer has spread beyond the breast to the lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 86%. The same survival rate for cancer that has spread to other organs is 29%.
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After Breast Cancer Has Been Diagnosed Tests Are Done To Find Out If Cancer Cells Have Spread Within The Breast Or To Other Parts Of The Body
After breast cancer has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancercells have spread within the breast or to other parts of the body. This process is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment. Breast cancer in men is staged the same as it is in women. The spread of cancer from the breast tolymph nodes and other parts of the body appears to be similar in men and women.
The following tests and procedures may be used in the staging process:
Targeted Cancer Drug Therapy
Your doctor will check your cancer cells for proteins called HER2 receptors. But these are rarely found in male breast cancer. If your cancer cells have a lot of these receptors, your doctor will prescribe a targeted drug treatment for you.
The most common targeted drug for breast cancer is trastuzumab .
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What Is The Outcome Of Male Breast Cancer What Is The Survival Rate For Male Breast Cancer
The prognosis of a male patient with breast cancer is considered similarly to female breast cancer. As in female breast cancer, the size and extent of tumor are the most important factors in the prognosis for male breast cancer. Overall survival rates for each tumor stage are similar for men and women. Since men have less breast tissue than women, it is less common for breast cancers in men to be diagnosed at a very early stage and more likely to have spread beyond the breast when they are identified, resulting in a more advanced tumor stage at diagnosis.
Disease-specific five-year survival rates reported for male breast cancer by stage are as follows:
What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk
If several members of your family have had breast or ovarian cancer, or one of your family members has a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, share this information with your doctor. Your doctor may refer you for genetic counseling. In men, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can increase the risk of breast cancer, high-grade prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
As a neurosurgeon, Don knew everything in life and in surgery is all risk versus benefit. After discovering his family history of breast cancer, he took responsibility for his own health by getting tested and later having an elective mastectomy.
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Diagnosis Of Male Breast Cancer
Doctors use a number of different diagnostic tests to find out whether or not breast cancer is present and, if so, whether it has spread outside the breast. Diagnostic tests are also used to gather more information about the cancer to guide decisions about treatment.
If you have possible symptoms of male breast cancer, your doctor may recommend some combination of the following diagnostic tests:
Each time your doctors remove tissue from your breast or lymph nodes whether as part of the initial biopsy or during surgery for breast cancer they will send it to a lab for testing. The tests will tell whether or not cancer is present and, if so, will provide information about the characteristics of the cancer. All of the test results together make up your pathology report. Your doctors will discuss the results in your pathology report with you. The information in the report will help you and your doctors decide which treatments are best for you.
In most cases, you can expect the pathology report to classify the breast cancer as one of the following:
Learn more about the information that may be in your pathology report.
If you are a man who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you and your medical team will develop a treatment plan based on the characteristics of the cancer and other factors.
Learn more about the Treatment of Male Breast Cancer.
Outlook For Breast Cancer In Men
The outlook for breast cancer in men varies depending on how far it has spread by the time it’s diagnosed.
It may be possible to cure breast cancer if it’s found early.
A cure is much less likely if the cancer is found after it has spread beyond the breast. In these cases, treatment can relieve your symptoms and help you live longer.
Speak to your breast care nurse if you’d like to know more about the outlook for your cancer.
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Male Breast Cancer Symptoms: Do You Have Them
Having one or more of these symptoms doesnt automatically mean you have breast cancerbut its better to be safe than sorry! Any new or unexplained changes in your nipple area, chest, or underarms should be checked out by a doctor.
A lump. This is the most common symptom of male breast cancer. Most of the time, a cancerous male breast cancer lump feels hard, painless, and wont move around when you press on it. There can also be a thickening of the breast tissue or areas under the arm, where there are several lymph nodes.
Nipple issues or skin changes. Any changes to the nipple or skin of the chest area such as puckering, dimpling, or leaking fluid should be checked out ASAP. A red, scaly rash around your nipple, for instance, can be a symptom of Paget disease, a type of breast cancer that affects the skin. A rare cancer called inflammatory breast cancer can make the skin red, warm, and swollen.
What Are The Symptoms
The most common symptoms of breast cancer in men are
- A lump or swelling in the breast.
- Redness or flaky skin in the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Nipple discharge.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
These symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer. If you have any symptoms or changes, see your doctor right away.
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Family Members With Breast Cancer Or A Breast Cancer Gene
Men who have female relatives with breast cancer have an increased risk of breast cancer, especially if the women are close relatives . The risk also increases if the women were diagnosed at a young age . Men, as well as women, can inherit faulty genes that increase the risk of breast cancer.
Around 2 in 100 breast cancers diagnosed in women are thought to be due directly to an inherited faulty gene . In men, this might be more common. Doctors think that around 5 to 10 out of 100 breast cancers diagnosed in men are due to inherited faulty genes . In men with breast cancer, changes in the BRCA2 faulty gene are more common than BRCA1.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Male breast cancer is rare, and often the diagnosis is delayed, leading to very high mortality. To improve outcomes, an interprofessional team approach that consists of an oncologist, surgeon, radiation therapist, dietitian, and mental health counselor is recommended. The majority of these patients initially present to their primary care provider or nurse practitioner. Unlike females, there may not be any risk factors, and hence any mass should be worked up, and a malignancy ruled out. The primary care providers should never assume that breast growth is simply benign gynecomastia. Men who are more than 50 years of age should be worked up to rule out breast cancer if there is a lesion.
Once diagnosed, the pharmacist should educate the patient on chemotherapeutic drugs, and the oncology nurse and clinician should discuss radiation therapy and its benefits.
An aspect of male breast cancer that is frequently overlooked is the negative stigmas that these patients routinely face, which leads them to feel quite isolated and vulnerable. Psychosocial support through various interprofessional teams should be offered to allow for a more normalization of their condition and experience as well as to create an atmosphere of nonjudgmental dialogue to address their concerns and potential stigmas.
Stage for stage the prognosis for male breast cancer is the same as in females.
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How Is It Diagnosed
Most male breast cancer is diagnosed with a biopsy. A lump or thick area in the breast or armpit may first be checked with a mammogram or an ultrasound. If either of these tests show signs of cancer, a biopsy will likely be done to see if there is cancer.
Cancer cells from the biopsy are tested to find out more about the cancer. For example, tests can show if the cancer cells have receptors for hormones such as estrogen or progesterone. This helps your doctor know which medicines will work best for you.