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How Common Is Male Breast Cancer

How Common Is Breast Cancer In Men

How common is male breast cancer?

Although it is rare, men can get breast cancer. Learn about symptoms of breast cancer in men and things that may increase your risk. Breast cancer is most often found in women, but men can get breast cancer too. About 1 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the United States is found in a man.

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.

What Is Male Breast Cancer And Who Does It Affect

Breast cancer in men is very similar to breast cancer in women. A painful lump in the breast male can be detected under the chest cavity surrounding the pecs. The painful lump in breast males, upon diagnosis, is often found to be breast cancer, which is a form of tissue growth in the breast region.

Male breast cancer is usually detected in older men even though it is possible to develop the condition at any age or stage of life. If detected early, you can have the excessive breast tissue removed or treated with radiation and chemotherapy.

Most cases of breast cancer in men are easily diagnosed and treated before it spreads. It is best to keep an eye out for the male breast cancer symptoms and seek treatment if you find any painful lump in the breast male.

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What Else Do We Know About How Breast Cancer Differs In Men And Women On A Molecular Level

Another molecular test used to guide breast cancer treatment decisions is a test for the HER2 protein. Twenty percent of female breast cancers have an increased number of copies of HER2, and HER2-positive status indicates that patients are likely to respond to one of several drugs that target the HER2 protein.

However, less is known about HER2 status in relation to male breast cancer, Dr. Gucalp says. The available data are varied. A few studies suggest that HER2 is less common in male breast cancer, but more research is needed.

This summer, MSK experimental pathologist Jorge Reis-Filho published a study in which his team sequenced the tumors of 59 male breast cancer patients. They found that in addition to a lower incidence of HER2-positive status, the two most frequent alterations in female disease in the genes PIK3CA and TP53 are less frequent in men. He also found that men with breast cancer were more likely to have mutations in genes that affect DNA repair including BRCA2.

The most important message is that we should not extrapolate the results of studies we do in female breast cancer to male breast cancer, Dr. Reis-Filho says. When it comes to specific genetic alterations, there are important differences.

Risk Factors For Male Breast Cancer

10 Common Medical Beliefs that are Actually Myths

Several factors are known to increase the risk that a man will develop breast cancer. But its important to know that many men who develop breast cancer do not have any of these risk factors.

Factors that can increase a mans breast cancer risk include:

The risk of male breast cancer increases as you age. The average age of men diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States is about 67. But breast cancer can occur in young men, too.

A mans risk for breast cancer is higher if any of his close relatives have had breast cancer, and especially if any male relatives have had the disease.

Men who inherit certain genetic mutations from their mothers or fathers have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. A man who inherits a BRCA1 mutation has about a 1% risk of developing breast cancer in his lifetime, compared to a risk of 0.1% for the average man. A man who inherits a BRCA2 mutation has a 7% to 8% risk.

Mutations in the ATM, CHEK2, PALB2, and other genes are also linked to breast cancer in men, but more research is needed to understand those risks.

You may think of testosterone as a male hormone and estrogen as a female hormone. The truth is, both men and women have different levels of testosterone and estrogen in their bodies. Men have less estrogen than women, but all men have some estrogen in their bodies.

Higher levels of estrogen can increase the risk of male breast cancer. Men can have high estrogen levels as a result of:

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What Is The Outlook For Men With Breast Cancer

The outlook for men diagnosed with breast cancer depends on several factors including the stage at which the cancer is caught, the extent of spread, and type of tumor, among others. In general, the prognosis is best when the cancer is detected at an early stage. Thats why it is important for men who notice symptoms of breast cancer to see a doctor for evaluation.

After treatment, men should continue to follow up regularly with a doctor to monitor recovery and possible recurrence of breast cancer or the emergence of cancer elsewhere in the body.

What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer In Men

Public relations campaigns dont often encourage men to check their breasts for cancermost breast cancer messaging is directed to women. However, its important for everyone to be aware of any changes in their bodies.

Signs of breast cancer in men include:

  • Fluid leaking from the nipple
  • Indentions or puckers in the skin
  • One or more lumps under the skin
  • Nipple turning inward
  • Redness, swelling or warmth

If you notice any of these changes in your body, be sure to ask your primary care provider about them. If you dont have a visit scheduled in the near future, call your doctor and schedule an appointment right away.

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Dcis Of The Male Breast

DCIS accounts for approximately 5% of breast cancers in men.84 It usually presents clinically with symptoms of a retro-areola cystic-type mass or bloody nipple discharge. Clinical, rather than mammographic, detection possibly accounts for the different incidence of DCIS between men and women. The predominant histological subtypes of DCIS in men are papillary and cribriform. Standard treatment is total mastectomy with excision of the nippleâareola complex but wide excision and radiotherapy is being used more frequently.85 Pure DCIS in men is usually of low or intermediate grade less than 3% of cases are high grade. In a series of 114 patients, 84 with pure DCIS and 30 with DCIS and invasive cancer, there were no cases of high-grade comedo DCIS in men without an invasive tumour.86 The percentage of men with DCIS that eventually develop an invasive cancer is not known.

Sarika Jain, William J. Gradishar, in, 2018

What Are The Stages Of Male Breast Cancer

Male Breast Cancer: Symptoms and Risk Factors

After diagnosing breast cancer, providers classify the disease using a process called staging. Providers measure the tumor and look at its location. They determine whether the tumor has spread to lymph nodes, surrounding breast tissue or other parts of your body. Lymph nodes are small organs that move fluid through the body and help protect you from illness.

To gather this information, your provider may order tests such as a sentinel node biopsy, PET scan or CT scan. These tests allow your cancer care team to determine the disease stage.

The stages of male breast cancer are:

Stage 0: Cancer cells are only in the ducts. Cancer has not spread to other breast tissue.

Stage I: The tumor is small and hasnt spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage II: One of these is true:

  • The tumor is smaller than 20 millimeters and has spread to a few axillary lymph nodes. Axillary nodes are lymph nodes in the armpit.
  • The tumor is 20 mm to 50 mm across and has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes . Or the tumor is 20 mm to 50 mm and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes .
  • The tumor is larger than 50 mm and has not spread to a few axillary lymph nodes.

Stage III: Cancer has spread typically to several lymph nodes. Cancer cells may also be in the chest wall or skin. It has not spread to other areas of the body away from the breast.

Stage IV: Cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body away from the breast. Cancer can spread to all areas of the body, including the lungs, bones, liver or brain.

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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.

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.

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Some Men Can Benefit From Breast Cancer Screenings

Experts dont recommend routine breast cancer screenings for men in general however, for those who are at a high risk of the diseasethey have a personal or family history, or a confirmed genetic markerregular screenings may make sense, Dr. Mortimer says. A study published in Radiology found that male breast cancer screening in high-risk patients yielded a cancer-detection rate of about 18 diagnoses per 1,000 examinations.

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My Treatment At Clara Maass Was Excellent

Breast Cancer in Men

Male breast cancer is rare enough that most men dont even consider it. According to the American Cancer Society, fewer than 1 percent of all breast cancers occur in men. The risk that a female will have breast cancer at some point in her life is one in 8, whereas the risk of male breast cancer is one in 833.

Those statistics make it all the more shocking for men like Louis Graham, 68, a retired IT security analyst for RWJBarnabas Health, who recently discovered that he had the disease.

A decade earlier, the West Orange resident had noticed that his right breast was growing larger. He visited a doctor, who took X-rays, but didnt believe anything was amiss.

Last December, Louis noticed that his left breast was also enlarged. It was like I was on steroids. It was so noticeable that the guys at the Y even mentioned it.

Then he discovered a lump in his left breast. He went to his primary care provider, who ordered a mammogram and ultrasound, followed by biopsies that diagnosed the bilateral breast cancer.

To learn about his treatment options, Louis met with , Director of Breast Surgery at the Center for Breast Health and Disease Management at Clara Maass Medical Center , who is also affiliated with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Dr. Kowzun ordered an MRI for additional imaging. At that point, Louis decided to go to Aruba on vacation in case it was my last chance, he explains. Id lost my wife of 46 years the year before, and I was still in mourning.

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Every Breast Lump Should Be Evaluated By A Doctor

The bottom line is that any mass in a breast, male or female, needs to be taken seriously and evaluated by a doctor, says Joanne Mortimer, MD, a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer at City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment center in Duarte, California. Men need to be encouraged to take their health seriously, Dr. OHea says. Regardless of cancer, all men can benefit from increased awareness of their body.

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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An Overview Of Male Breast Cancer

Male breast cancer is just as rare as it sounds, only its real. Of all the breast cancers, one percent of occurs in men. The causes and risk factors are similar as in any breast cancer in women. There are no defined causes for breast cancer but there are certain risk factors that increase the chances/risk of getting cancer in men and women. To prevent and/or cure cancer, we must know the risk factors, causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Coming to statistics, breast cancer has taken 0.22 % deaths of all cancers in men. The survival rate in both, men and women, breast cancer is on the rise to state a positive note.Certain risk factors for male breast cancer include men having enlarged breasts with the increase of breast tissue in them and can find a small tissue that feels like a button, under the areola. This could be a condition of gynecomastia.

Similar to gynecomastia, Klinefelter syndrome is another condition that comes across as a risk factor for breast cancer in men. This condition is a rare genetic problem. The X chromosome is extra in men when they have this condition. Smaller testicles and enlarges breasts are the results of Klinefelter syndrome and if one feels he has that condition, then he must visit the doctor.

If there is a family history on breast cancer or genetic mutation , it can increase the risk of breast cancer in men.

Effects On Sexual And Psychiatric Functioning And Postfinasteride Syndrome

Male breast cancer more common than most people realize

Q34.10 Infrequently decreased libido, erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction, decreased ejaculate volume, and testicular pain are reported in 4% to 8% of older men taking 5 mg finasteride 108,115 and in 2% to 4% of younger patients receiving 1 mg finasteride . Although these effects reportedly decrease with longer-term use and reverse upon drug discontinuation, recent reports cite persistent sexual dysfunction after treatment discontinuation.108,116,117

In a recent retrospective health records review of over 11,000 men, persistent erectile dysfunction lasting months to years occurred in approximately 1% of men aged 16 to 42 years taking finasteride 1mg, and longer-term exposure was possibly associated with greater risk.118 Chronic exposure in rats to 5-α reductase inhibitors has been shown to change corpus cavernosum muscle and affect erectile function.119

Postfinasteride syndrome is a recently coined term to characterize a constellation of symptoms including sexual dysfunction, gynecomastia, cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation that persist after discontinuation of 5-α reductase inhibitors. Controversy currently exists regarding this entity, in part that large clinical trials before Propecia release did not demonstrate significant increases in these risks.

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Which Men Are At Risk For Breast Cancer

A risk factor is anything that may increase your chance of having a disease. Risk factors for a certain type of cancer might include smoking, diet, family history, or many other things. The exact cause of someones cancer may not be known. But risk factors can make it more likely for a person to have cancer.

Things you should know about risk factors for cancer:

  • Risk factors can increase a person’s risk, but they don’t always cause the disease.
  • Some people with one or more risk factors never develop cancer. Other people with cancer have no risk factors.
  • Some risk factors are very well known. But there’s ongoing research about risk factors for many types of cancer.

Some risk factors, such as family history, may not be in your control. But others may be things you can change. Knowing the risk factors can help you make choices that might help lower your risk. For instance, if an unhealthy diet is a risk factor, you may choose to eat healthy foods. If extra weight is a risk factor, your healthcare provider may help you lose weight.

Risk factors for breast cancer in men include:

  • Being age 60 or older
  • Radiation exposure, such as from radiation used to treat another cancer in the chest
  • Estrogen treatment
  • Diseases linked to high estrogen levels and low levels of male hormones , such as severe liver disease or Klinefelter syndrome
  • Heavy use of alcohol
  • One or more female or male relatives have breast cancer
  • A breast cancer 2 gene mutation in the family


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