Can Transgender Women Get Breast Cancer
Although there hasnt been very much research in this area, a study in 2019 suggested that transgender women undergoing hormone treatment have an increased risk of breast cancer compared to cisgender men .
According to the study carried out by researchers from the University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, trans women were around 47 times more likely to develop breast cancer than cis men.
Over the course of the study, 15 cases of invasive breast cancer were detected in 2,260 transgender women that the researchers were following. In cisgender men, over the same period of time, only 0.32 cases of breast cancer would be expected to be detected.
This is why scientists suggest transgender women are 47 times more likely to develop breast cancer. However, 15 out of 2,260 is still a very small number of cases.
The study also showed that trans men have a lower breast cancer risk than cis women .
Male Breast Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Breast
Breast cancer may occur in men. Breast cancer may occur in men at any age, but it usually occurs in men between 60 and 70 years of age. Male breast cancer makes up less than 1% of all cases of breast cancer.
The following types of breast cancer are found in men:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma: Cancer that has spread beyond thecells liningducts in the breast. This is the most common type of breast cancer in men.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ: Abnormal cells that are found in the lining of a duct also called intraductal carcinoma.
- Inflammatory breast cancer: A type of cancer in which the breast looks red and swollen and feels warm.
- Paget disease of the nipple: A tumor that has grown from ducts beneath the nipple onto the surface of the nipple.
Lobular carcinoma in situ , which sometimes occurs in women, has not been seen in men.
Prevention Of Breast Cancer
Because we dont know exactly what causes breast cancer, we cant pinpoint an exact way to prevent it. However, losing weight and maintaining a regular weight is a good place to start. Restricting alcohol to the recommended amount is also one way to control estrogen levels in the body
Early detection is also important. If you feel a lump, do not ignore it. Seek medical attention as early as possible.
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Diagnosing Male Breast Cancer
Diagnosis male breast cancer starts with providing a complete personal and family medical history, describing your symptoms and being examined by your doctor.
After that, you may have screening with one of a few possible technologies, including a diagnostic mammogram, a breast ultrasound, a magnetic resonance imaging scan and/or possibly a test to study your nipple discharge.
Your doctor may also test your blood chemistry to look for unusual amounts of a substance that might suggest disease.
If your diagnostic tests show you may have cancer, the next step is a biopsy. A variety of different biopsies can involve removing cells through a needle, including fine-needle aspiration or core needle biopsy, or removing the whole lump or part of the suspicious area through surgery.
If cancer is found, additional tests will help your doctor know how quickly it may grow, how likely it is to spread or recur and what treatments may be the most appropriate.
Those would include:
- An estrogen and progesterone receptor test that measure the amount of these receptors in the cancer
- A HER2 test to measure the presence and level of HER2 protein
Men tend to be diagnosed with breast cancers that are hormone receptor-positive and HER2-negative.
The spread of cancer from breast to lymph nodes and other parts of the body in men appears to be similar to what women experience.
The stage of breast cancer is determined by your care team based on:
Drugs Creams Cosmetics And Lotions
Body builders who use high doses of androgen frequently develop significant gynaecomastia, often with breast tenderness, because of androgen conversion to oestrogen. At the opposite end of the spectrum, men prescribed combined gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonist-androgen receptor antagonist therapy or androgen receptor antagonist monotherapy for prostate cancer develop gynaecomastia 10-20% and 50-60% of the time, respectively. Gynaecomastia is much less common in men taking 5 reductase inhibitors for benign prostatic hypertrophy .
Patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy for HIV report gynaecomastia, but the prevalence and mechanisms are uncertain. Pseudogynaecomastia can occur in patients with HIV associated lipodystrophy. HIV does not increase the risk for breast cancer, but HIV associated lymphoma can present as a lymphomatous breast mass.
Cosmetics, creams, and lotions may contain oestrogens or compounds with oestrogen effects. Children are particularly vulnerable to these sources. Three healthy prepubertal boys developed gynaecomastia, which was traced to repeated application of a healing balm containing lavender oil , lavender scented soap and skin lotions, and shampoo and styling gel containing lavender and tea tree oil , respectively. Antiandrogenic effects of lavender and tea tree oil were confirmed using human breast cancer cell lines. Gynaecomastia resolved within a few months of stopping these applications.
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Types Of Breast Cancer In Men
The most common types of breast cancer are ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, and invasive lobular carcinoma.
Most breast cancers are carcinomas. In fact, breast cancers are often a type of carcinoma called adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells that make glands . Breast adenocarcinomas start in the ducts or the lobules .
There are other, less common, types of breast cancers, too, such as sarcomas, phyllodes, Pagets disease and angiosarcomas which start in the cells of the muscle, fat, or connective tissue.
Sometimes a single breast tumor can be a combination of different types. And in some very rare types of breast cancer, the cancer cells may not form a lump or tumor at all.
When a biopsy is done to find out the specific type of breast cancer, the pathologist also will say if the cancer has spread in to the surrounding tissues. The name of the breast cancer type will change depending on the extent of the cancer.
- In situ breast cancers have not spread.
- Invasive or infiltrating cancers have spread into the surrounding breast tissue.
These general kinds of breast cancer can be further described with the terms outlined above.
So How Is Breast Cancer In Men Possible
Women are far more likely to get breast cancer because they have much more breast tissue. However, men do have a small amount of breast tissue as well.
In fact, the breasts of an adult man can be compared to the breast of a prepubescent girl the girl will go on to develop full breasts, whereas obviously the man does not. However, because the man has that small amount of breast tissue, he is able to develop breast cancer.
Chronic myeloid leukemia is a relatively rare disease, but it is often slow-growing and can respond very well to treatment.
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What Is Breast Cancer In Men
Breast cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can get it, too. Many people do not realize that men have breast tissue and that they can develop breast cancer. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer and can spread to other areas.
Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is malignant if the cells can grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body.
To learn more about how cancers start and spread, see Cancer Basics.
How Is Breast Cancer In Men Staged
The stage of a cancer is tells your doctor how much and how far it has spread in your body. It’s one of the most important things to know when deciding how to treat the cancer.
The staging system for male breast cancer is the same as the staging system for female breast cancer. It includes the size of the cancer and whether lymph nodes have cancer cells in them. It also includes details about whether the cancer cells have certain proteins and how much they look like normal cells .
The stage is based on a 0 to 4 scale. It uses Roman numerals I , II , III , and IV . Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ. The cancer is small and only in the place where it first started. Stage IV means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Your healthcare provider will talk with you about what your cancer stage means and how it affects your treatment options. Ask any questions or talk about your concerns.
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What Is The Most Common Type Of Breast Cancer In Men
The most common type of breast cancer in men is infiltrating ductal cancer. This is cancer that starts in milk duct and spreads to nearby tissues.
Other less-common types of breast cancer in men include inflammatory carcinoma and Paget disease of the nipple. A type of breast cancer called lobular carcinoma in situ is very rare in men. This is because men don’t have much lobular tissue. Lobular tissue is where breast milk is made.
Paget Disease Of The Nipple
This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the nipple. It may also spread to the areola . The skin of the nipple usually appears crusted, scaly, and red, with areas of itching, oozing, burning, or bleeding. There may also be an underlying lump in the breast.
Paget disease may be associated with DCIS or with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It is rare and accounts for about 1-3% of female breast cancers and a higher percentage of male breast cancers.
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What To Expect At The Breast Clinic
Your visit to the breast clinic may take several hours.
You can take a partner, close friend or relative with you for company or support. Some people prefer to go on their own.
A doctor or specialist nurse will ask you about your symptoms
You may be asked to fill in a short questionnaire including questions about any family history of breast problems and any medication youre taking.
You will have an examination
The doctor or nurse will check the breast tissue on both sides. As part of the examination its usual to examine the lymph nodes under your arm and around your neck.
You may need further tests
These will usually include one or more of the following:
- A mammogram
- An ultrasound scan
- A core biopsy of the breast tissue and sometimes lymph nodes
- A fine needle aspiration of the breast tissue and sometimes lymph nodes
Important Facts To Know
- Survival for men with breast cancer is similar to that for women with the same diagnosis and stage.
- Breast cancers that occur in men are the same types that occur in women and are treated the same as in women.
- Breast cancer screening for all men is not necessary or helpful.
- Men should see a doctor if a lump develops under the skin of the nipple
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Male Breast Cancer Is On The Rise
“Breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of the cancers diagnosed in American men each year, but studies suggest that the incidence of male breast cancer is rising,” says Dr. Darcourt.
In fact, one study suggests that breast cancer in men has increased 25% over the last 25 years.
That same study also found that men were more likely to present with a more advanced stage breast cancer at the time of diagnosis as women. Still, male breast cancer is caught in the early stages more often than not. This is important since early-stage breast cancer is easier to treat.
“Although male breast cancer is certainly one of the rarer forms of cancer, it’s important for men to be aware of it,” Dr. Darcourt stresses.
The Female And Male Breast
Early in life, boys and girls have a similar amount of breast tissue. Female hormones present during puberty cause a girls breasts to change. The breasts develop glands that produce milk , ducts that carry milk, and supporting fatty tissue. As a boy enters puberty, he isnt exposed to these growth-inducing hormones, but rather male hormones that restrict his breasts from developing.
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What Are The Risk Factors
Several factors can increase a mans chance of getting breast cancer. Having risk factors does not mean you will get breast cancer.
- Getting older. The risk for breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers are found after age 50.
- Genetic mutations. Inherited changes in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, increase breast cancer risk.
- Family history of breast cancer. A mans risk for breast cancer is higher if a close family member has had breast cancer.
- Radiation therapy treatment. Men who had radiation therapy to the chest have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- Hormone therapy treatment. Drugs containing estrogen , which were used to treat prostate cancer in the past, increase mens breast cancer risk.
- Klinefelter syndrome.Klinefelter syndromeexternal icon is a rare genetic condition in which a male has an extra X chromosome. This can lead to the body making higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of androgens .
- Certain conditions that affect the testicles. Injury to, swelling in, or surgery to remove the testicles can increase breast cancer risk.
- Liver disease. Cirrhosis of the liver can lower androgen levels and raise estrogen levels in men, increasing the risk of breast cancer.
- Overweight and obesity. Older men who are overweight or have obesity have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than men at a normal weight.
Talk to your doctor about your familys history of cancer.
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.
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A Family History Of Breast Cancer And Other Factors Can Increase A Man’s Risk Of Breast Cancer
Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer not having risk factors doesnt mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors for breast cancer in men may include the following:
- Treatment with radiation therapy to your breast/chest.
- Having a disease linked to high levels ofestrogen in the body, such ascirrhosis or Klinefelter syndrome .
- Having one or more female relatives who have had breast cancer.
- Having mutations in genes such as BRCA2.
Prognosis Of Male Breast Cancer
Prognosis does vary based on the type of breast cancer and the stage when it was detected.
Men who are diagnosed with breast cancer are typically diagnosed later in the disease process than are women with breast cancer, most likely because they do not suspect there is actually a problem in that area.
This can make the cancer more difficult to treat however, male breast cancer is not different than female breast cancer and if it was detected at the same time, the prognosis would be similar.
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What Is The Treatment For Male Breast Cancer
Different types of treatment are available for men with breast cancer. Some treatments are standard , and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.
For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Many of today’s standard treatments for cancer are based on earlier clinical trials. Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new treatment.
Patients who take part in clinical trials also help improve the way cancer will be treated in the future. Even when clinical trials do not lead to effective new treatments, they often answer important questions and help move research forward. Some clinical trials only include patients who have not yet received treatment. Other trials test treatments for patients whose cancer has not gotten better. There are also clinical trials that test new ways to stop cancer from recurring or reduce the side effects of cancer treatment.
Five types of standard treatment are used to treat men with breast cancer:
Surgery for men with breast cancer is usually a modified radical mastectomy .