A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
There are many different types of breast cancer.
Each form of breast cancer develops in a different part of the breast and can affect different tissue types.
Since many breast cancers cause no symptoms, people should attend regular screenings. This can help identify the disease in its early stages.
Below, we outline the types of breast cancer and their symptoms.
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.
Ductal Or Lobular Hyperplasia
Atypical lobular hyperplasia and atypical ductal hyperplasia are considered precancerous conditions. Atypical describes cells that look abnormal under a microscope, while hyperplasia describes an overgrowth of cells.
Breast tumors that have these characteristics are more likely to turn into cancer therefore, close monitoring or surgical excision is required to treat these conditions.
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A Lump Could Be A Sign Of Breast Cancer
A new mass in the chest area is a common sign of breast cancer, Ruddy said. This can feel like a small, pea-sized lump and is often the sign that leads to a cancer diagnosis in men.
Really, breast cancers arent diagnosed until theyre clinically evident, meaning until they create a mass thats actually palpable to the man or to his doctor, Ruddy said.
When Should Someone Seek Medical Care For Breast Cancer
Breast cancer develops over months or years. Once identified, however, a certain sense of urgency is felt about the treatment because breast cancer is much more difficult to treat as it spreads. You should see your health care provider if you experience any of the following:
- Finding a breast lump
- Finding a lump in your armpit or above your collarbone that does not go away in two weeks or so
- Developing nipple discharge
- Noticing new nipple inversion or skin changes over the breast
Redness or swelling in the breast may suggest an infection of the breast.
- You should see your health care provider within the next 24 hours to begin treatment.
- If you have redness, swelling, or severe pain in the breast and are unable to reach your health care provider, this warrants a trip to the nearest emergency department.
If your mammogram spots an abnormality, you should see your health care provider right away to make a plan for further evaluation.
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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 .
Causes Of Breast Cancer In Men
The exact cause of breast cancer in men is not known, but there are some things that increase your risk of getting it.
- genes and family history inheriting faulty versions of genes called BRCA1 or BRCA2 increases your risk of breast cancer
- conditions that can increase the level of oestrogen in the body including obesity, Klinefelter syndrome and scarring of the liver
- previous radiotherapy to the chest area
Its not certain that you can do anything to reduce your risk, but eating a balanced diet, losing weight if youre overweight and not drinking too much alcohol may help.
Page last reviewed: 18 March 2020 Next review due: 18 March 2023
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Male Breast Cancer Treatment
All factors of male breast cancer play a role in your treatment. This includes size, location, type, grade, and stage. The size of the mass doesnt change the outlook, but it can affect treatment options. Other aspects include your age, general health, and personal lifestyle choices. Talk to your doctor in detail about the risks and side effects of each treatment.
Treatment can include one or more of the following:
What Causes Male Breast Cancer
Anyone can get breast cancer. Overall health, family history and genetic factors increase the risk of developing the disease. Risk factors of male breast cancer include:
- Age: Men over 60 are more likely to develop breast cancer.
- Overall health: Men with obesity may have gynecomastia . Gynecomastia increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Estrogen levels: Certain drugs that contain estrogen cause estrogen levels to rise. Cirrhosis can also increase estrogen levels. A genetic disorder called Klinefelter syndrome increases the risk of several health issues, including breast cancer.
- Family history: Men who have a first-degree relative with breast cancer have a higher chance of the disease.
- Genes: Genetic mutations increase the risk of developing breast cancer. These include changes in the BRCA gene . Mutations in these genes also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.
- Radiation therapy: Men who had radiation therapy in the chest or torso have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Testicular issues: People who have had surgery to remove their testicles have a higher risk of breast cancer. Testicle injuries also increase the risk.
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What Is Cancer Staging
Staging is a way of describing where the cancer is located, how much the cancer has grown, and if or where it has spread. Doctors use diagnostic tests to find out the cancer’s stage, so staging may not be complete until all the tests are finished. Knowing the stage helps the doctor recommend the best kind of treatment and can help predict a patient’s prognosis, which is the chance of recovery. There are different stage descriptions for different types of cancer.
This page provides detailed information about the system used to find the stage of male breast cancer and the stage groups for male breast cancer, such as stage IIA or stage IV.
Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of getting breast cancer. However, having any of these doesnt mean you will definitely develop the disease.
Some risk factors cant be avoided, such as family history. You can change other risk factors, such as smoking. Risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Age. Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you age. Most invasive breast cancers are found in women over 55 years old.
- Drinking alcohol. Alcohol use disorder raises your risk.
- Having dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue makes mammograms hard to read. It also increases your risk of breast cancer.
- Gender. According to the
While there are risk factors you cant control, following a healthy lifestyle, getting regular screenings, and taking any preventive measures your doctor recommends can help lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
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These 9 Signs Of Breast Cancer Are Now Being Shared On Twitter And Many People Are Raising Awareness On The Debilitating Illness
Perhaps the most recognized symptom of breast cancer is a lump or mass in the breast tissue. While many women go to the doctor after finding a lump, every woman should also be aware of other changes to the breast or nipple that could indicate the presence of this debilitating illness. If detected in its early stage, breast cancer can be cured more easily.
Nipple discharge may be one of the signs of breast cancer however, its normal for people who are breastfeeding to have a milky discharge from the nipples. In some cases, nipple discharge can be cancerous, and a person should seek medical care if they observe a thin or thick type of discharge that can vary in color from milky, to yellow, green, and red.
Other possible reasons for nipple discharge may be: breast infections, side effects of birth control and certain medications, certain medical conditions like thyroid disease, and variations in body physiology.
On some occasions, skin dimpling can be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer because cancer cells cause a buildup of lymph fluid in the breast which leads to swelling, dimpling, or pitted skin. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek medical advice immediately.
Unusual breast or nipple pain are among the symptoms of invasive breast cancer, and a person should seek medical advice.
If a person hasnt experienced a recent trauma to the breast but notices obvious changes to the color of breast skin, they should seek medical care immediately.
If The Cancer Has Spread Beyond The Breast
Some men are diagnosed with cancer that has already spread. Or the cancer might come back and spread some time after treatment. This is called secondary breast cancer, advanced breast cancer, or metastatic breast cancer.
In this situation your doctor might recommend:
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Breast Lumps Arent Always Cancer But They Should Still Be Checked Out
While male breast cancer often results in a lump you can feel, not all breast lumps are cancerous.
Gynecomastia, which is a benign increase in the amount of breast tissue, is more common than male breast cancer and can also feel and appear like a small growth, says Dr. Darcourt. Additionally, papillomas and fibroadenomas are abnormal but benign masses that can occur in breast tissue, although theyre fairly rare in men.
But while feeling a breast lump isnt necessarily cause for immediate panic, it shouldnt be brushed off.
Not every breast lump is cancerous, but thats certainly not a reason to delay mentioning it to your doctor, says Dr. Darcourt. The overall risk may be low, but remember, the earlier breast cancer is detected and treated, the better.
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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Less Common Side Effects
Less common side effects include:
- Allergic reaction to the chemotherapy drug
- Bleeding and oozing from the wound, especially if radiotherapy has been given to the area
- Mild temperature, which usually goes down with paracetamol
- Lung problems due to the side effect of the chemotherapy
Some people will have mild effects from the chemotherapy drug, such as feeling sick and being sick .
When Is It Given
Electrochemotherapy may be used to treat skin metastases when other treatments havent worked or when surgery isnt suitable. It will be planned by your treatment team on an individual basis.
It can also be given alongside other treatments or to skin which has previously been treated with radiotherapy.
Electrochemotherapy may not be suitable for some people with certain lung conditions.
You will need a number of tests to ensure it is safe to give you electrochemotherapy. These may include blood tests, a chest x-ray, a CT scan of the chest and lung function tests.
You may be asked to have medical photographs taken of the skin metastases and the area that requires treatment before it begins, and once its completed. This can help to monitor the affected areas and assess the effectiveness of the treatment.
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How Is Electrochemotherapy Given
The chemotherapy is usually given into a vein . It can also be given by injection directly into the area of cancer being treated .
Bleomycin is the chemotherapy drug most commonly used. Cisplatin, another chemotherapy drug, may also be used.
A short time after the chemotherapy drug is given, electrical impulses are given directly to the area using an electrode with the help of a specially designed needle probe. The electrode may be applied a number of times to make sure the whole area is treated. The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes but will depend on the size of the area being treated.
Its usually given under general anaesthetic in the operating theatre. Sometimes local anaesthetic may be used depending on the size of the area or how many areas need to be treated. As electrochemotherapy treatment can be painful, you will be given pain relief before and after the treatment.
Many people need only a single treatment of electrochemotherapy, although it can be repeated in the same area or used to treat a different area.
Treatment is usually carried out as an outpatient or day case, though some people may need to stay in hospital overnight. This depends on how much treatment is needed and your general health.
Afterwards, the area will often be covered with a dressing that may need changing regularly. The treated areas will usually scab over. Often the areas look worse before any improvement is seen.
What Are The Types Of Male Breast Cancer
Breast cancer in men usually begins in the breast ducts. Ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. Although men have milk ducts and glands that create milk, they dont work like the ducts and milk-producing glands in women.
The types of male breast cancer include:
- Invasive ductal carcinoma: Cancer begins in the breast ducts and spreads to other parts of the breast. Cancer cells may also spread to other areas of the body. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer in people regardless of gender.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma: Cancer begins in the lobules . Lobular breast cancer can also spread to other parts of the body.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ : Cancer cells grow in the lining of the breast ducts. They have not spread to other parts of the breast or the rest of the body. Ductal carcinoma in situ is uncommon in men.
- Inflammatory breast cancer: Usually a type of invasive ductal carcinoma, inflammatory breast cancer is very rare in men. The breast tissue is swollen and red. It feels warm to the touch, and the skin may be dimpled, but there is no lump.
- Pagets disease of the nipple: Cancer cells grow in the ducts and spread to the nipple and the area around the nipple. Pagets disease of the nipple is also called Pagets disease of the breast or mammary Paget disease.
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How To Recognize Male Breast Cancer
This article was medically reviewed by . Dr. Litza is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Wisconsin. She is a practicing Physician and taught as a Clinical Professor for 13 years, after receiving her MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1998.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 131,401 times.
Experts say breast cancer can affect men of any age, but it’s most common in older men. Although male breast cancer is rare, it’s important to watch for symptoms like breast lumps, skin changes, nipple changes, and nipple discharge.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source Research suggests that men are more likely to ignore breast lumps than women, but early diagnosis is key to getting the treatment you need to recover.XTrustworthy SourceJohns Hopkins MedicineOfficial resource database of the world-leading Johns Hopkins HospitalGo to source Try not to worry, but talk to your doctor immediately if you have any concerns about your breast health.
Early Signs Of Breast Cancer Pictures
Breast or nipple pain
Breast tumors can appear as a single lump, a cluster of dispersed seed-like tumors, or an amorphous structure with numerous tentacles spreading into the tissue. These growths all produce varying degrees of pain or discomfort. It is critical to keep account of when, where, and how frequently the pain happens. Inform your doctor in as much detail as possible. Assume that this is a novel symptom, distinct from any previous sensation youve had.
This symptom, most commonly associated with inflammatory breast cancer, is frequently overlooked. So many breast cancer patients visit the dermatologist in Chennai for months, only to be sent home with rash creams and medicines. It is incredibly irritating and makes you want to scratch. You can Consult an oncologist in Chennaistraight away if the skin on your breasts appears or feels strange.
Changes in breast shape, size, or appearance
Tissue growth may cause the form or size of the breast to change without producing a visible bulge. If you notice thick breast tissue, you should be extra cautious or visit a breast cancer specialist in Chennai. In women with thick breasts, mammograms might miss up to 50% of tumors. You can examine the form and size of your breasts in a mirror.
Nipple retraction or sensitivity
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