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How To Detect Breast Cancer In Males

Risk Factors Causing Breast Cancer In Men:

Men and Mammography | Early Detection of Male Breast Cancer
  • Aging The risk of breast cancer increases as one ages. Male breast cancer is most often diagnosed in men who are in their 60s
  • Exposure to estrogen Consumption of estrogen-related drugs, such as those used for hormone therapy for prostate cancer can also increase the risk of breast cancer. Obesity is also associated with the presence of a higher level of estrogen in the body, which increases the risk of developing breast cancer in males
  • Family history There is a greater chance of developing the disease in case it has been detected in a close family member
  • Liver disease Those men suffering from liver failure/ cirrhosis are also at a higher risk of developing male breast cancer

What Are The Stages Of Male Breast Cancer

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.

For Men Who Are Or May Be At High Risk

Careful breast exams might be useful for screening men with a strong family history of breast cancer and/or with BRCA mutations found by genetic testing. Screening men for breast cancer has not been studied to know if it is helpful, and mammography and ultrasound is usually only done if a lump is found. Men who are at high risk for breast cancer should discuss how to manage their risk with their doctor.

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Best Early Detection For Breast Cancer

The best key to detecting breast cancer is the treatment of breast cancer. There are some steps to take to detect breast cancer when it is most treatable, they are:

  • Mammography

It is the most important screening test for breast cancer and it is an X-ray of the breast. Mammography helps to detect breast cancer up to two years before the tumors can be felt by you or the doctor. A woman who is at average risk of breast cancer or women age 40-45 older should have a mammogram once a year. And also a woman at high risk should have yearly mammograms along with an MRI starting at age 30.

  • Ultrasound

It is an imaging test that sends high-frequency sound waves through your breast and converts them into images on a viewing screen. Sound waves that do not damage or affect the body. If youre under age 30, your doctor may recommend ultrasound before mammography to evaluate a palpable breast lump .

  • MRI

Inside a machine, a magnet will transmit magnetic energy and radio waves to make a detailed picture of the breast. It uses magnetic fields to capture multiple images of the breast tissue. These images are combined to create detailed, computer-generated pictures of the tissue inside your breasts.

  • Biopsy
  • Fine-needle aspirations
  • Surgical biopsy
  • When To See Your Gp

    Male breast cancer: Symptoms, statistics, tests, and treatment

    See your GP if you have:

    • a lump in your breast
    • any other worrying symptoms, such as nipple discharge
    • a history of breast cancer in members of your family and you’re worried about your chances of getting it

    It’s very unlikely you have cancer, but it’s best to get your symptoms checked. Your GP will examine your breast and can refer you for tests and scans for breast cancer if needed.

    If you do not have symptoms but have a clear family history of breast cancer, your GP may refer you to a genetic specialist to discuss your risk of getting it.

    There are some inherited genes that increase your risk of cancer and a blood test can be done to check for these. Read about testing for cancer risk genes.

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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

    The Other Part Of Your Breast Exam Involves Palpation Feeling The Breast Tissue That Lies Between The Skin And Your Ribs From The Lower Poles Of Your Breast Up To Your Armpit And Including Your Armpit

    You need to palpate it all. Do it both standing up and lying down. I like to do this in the shower and the bath when my skin is slippery so that I am feeling under the skin and not folds of skin.

    Use the pads of your fingers on the opposite hand to examine the entirety of your breasts in small, circular movements.

    I start from the lower outside part of the breast, moving to the lower center and around in a spiral into the nipple area. Carefully, cover every part of your breast. I then do the upper, lateral pole between the breast and the armpit. Palpate in your armpit, too, because a lot of lymph nodes are in there. Do the same thing lying down because the breast tissue will spread out over the wall of your chest. This is how I found the cancer as it rested against a rib.

    You need to squeeze the nipple, too.

    This helps you feel little lumps there and to check for discharge. I always also squeezed my entire breast tissue gently between my thumb and fingers for a side-to-side palpation. Its not normally recommended, but Im thorough. I have found that my fibrocystic breasts were hard to examine, and the lumps became more familiar to me by doing this. Dont forget to do both breasts.

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    History Of Cancer Treatment

    Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are associated with an increased risk of cancer. Radiation and chemotherapeutic medications are used to destroy cancer cells, but they can also cause alterations in normal cells, increasing the risk of disease and cancer.

    While uncommon, there is a slight increase in secondary cancer among survivors who were treated for cancer.

    Radiation therapy to the chest, such as in treatment for lymphoma, for example, is more likely to be associated with breast cancer than radiation to other areas of the body, such as the brain or abdomen.

    Cancer treatment that alters hormone levels, such as estrogen therapy for prostate cancer and orchiectomy for testicular cancer, are also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in those assigned male at birth.

    Can I Prevent Male Breast Cancer

    How to Check for the Signs of Male Breast Cancer | Lorraine

    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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    Can Men Get Breast Cancer

    Many people dont know that men can get breast cancer because they dont think of men as having breasts. But men do have a small amount of breast tissue.

    Breast cancer in men is cancer that starts in this small amount of breast tissue.

    Breast cancer in men is very rare. Around 370 men are diagnosed each year in the UK.

    Most men who get breast cancer are over 60, although younger men can be affected.

    How To Do A Breast Self

    Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

    Here’s what you should look for:

    • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
    • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

    If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:

    • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
    • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple
    • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
    Breast Self-Exam Step 1
    Larger Version

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    How To Ensure Care:

    If there is a history of male breast cancer in the family of the patient, the person should regularly check for lumps through self-examinations or clinical breast exams and report any changes to a doctor immediately. Leading a healthy lifestyle is a good way to help prevent male breast cancer, as well as avoiding other chronic health conditions. Early detection and management are the keys to improve survival in breast cancer patients.

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    What Is The Outlook For Men With Breast Cancer

    Survivor of Male Breast Cancer Spreading Awareness

    The prognosis for men who have breast cancer depends on the tumors size and if it has spread. These are reflected in the cancer stage. In general, a higher stage indicates a worse prognosis. Early diagnosis can improve the outlook significantly. But because men dont get regular breast cancer screenings like women, the first sign of cancer is usually a lump. By that time, the cancer has often spread to the lymph nodes or other areas of the body.

    Healthcare providers measure cancer outlook by the five-year survival rate. Overall, the survival rate for male breast cancer is 84%. The survival rate for men with breast cancer that has not spread beyond the original tumor is 97%. For men with cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the survival rate is about 22%.

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    Can I Rely On Breast Self

    Mammography can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is key for early detection. But when combined with regular medical care and appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their healthcare provider.If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but dont panic 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.

    How To Detect Breast Cancer In Early Stage

    From person to person warning signs and symptoms can vary greatly, but there are some common signs they are:

    • Swelling of all or part of a breast.
    • Lump inside the breast or underarm area.
    • Skin irritation or dimpling.
    • Change in breast size and shape.
    • Nipple pain or breast pain.
    • Sore or rash on the nipple.
    • Swelling, redness or darkening of the breast.
    • Prominent veins on the surface of the breast.
    • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly.
    • Pulling in of the nipple or the other parts of the breast.

    If these signs or symptoms do occur, it does not necessarily mean that cancer is present. It can often the result of benign breast conditions. Benign means it is not cancer and changes in the breast can be caused because of the factors like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.

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    What Is Yale Medicines Approach To Detecting And Treating Breast Cancer In Men

    Our radiologists are uniquely qualified to diagnose even the rarest forms of breast cancer, including male breast cancerearly and accurately. Our radiologists who subspecialize in breast imaging are among the most highly skilled leaders in the field. They are nationally and internationally recognized for their skill in diagnosing breast cancer. Additionally, our radiologists conduct research on 3D mammography and dense breast imaging, which is advancing the field of radiology.

    A man with a breast-related complaint will be scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound within a few days, Dr. Andrejeva-Wright says. If a suspicious mass is seen, then a needle biopsy is scheduled soon after. If a diagnosis of breast cancer is made, our intake specialists coordinate all necessary appointments with the patient as soon as possible, so that treatment can begin quickly.

    How Is A Male Breast Cancer Diagnosis Made

    Male Breast Cancer

    If a doctor has reason to suspect cancer, the following tests and procedures may be used to arrive at a diagnosis:

    • Clinical breast exam. Usually a first step, this is performed in the office. The doctor feels the breast and underarm area for palpable lumps and examines the skin and nipple for any breast changes.
    • Imaging tests. Next, the doctor may order such tests as a mammogram with a breast ultrasound and, occasionally, a magnetic resonance imaging of the breasts. A radiologist will examine these imaging tests to look for malignant tumors.
    • Breast biopsy. A breast biopsy is a procedure in which a small piece of tissue is removed and sent to a pathology lab, where it is evaluated to determine if it is malignant or benign. The four main kinds of breast biopsies are the core needle biopsy, excisional biopsy, fine need aspiration, and punch skin biopsy.
    • Hormone-sensitivity tests. If cancer is found, an estrogen and progesterone receptor test is performed to determine whether the tumor contains receptors for estrogen and progesterone. If it does, the patient can also be treated with medications that suppress estrogen and progesterone in the body, depriving cancer cells of those hormones. This is done in addition to surgical therapy.

    • HER2 test. This test measures the amount of the growth-factor protein known as HER2, found in the breast tissue. This information helps a medical oncologist choose the right therapy for treatment.

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    How Is Male Breast Cancer Diagnosed

    Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your breast tissue, paying close attention to any lumps or abnormalities. Your provider may take a sample of your blood and send it to a lab.

    To look for cancer cells in breast tissue, your provider may do a biopsy. Using a thin needle, your provider removes a sample of the breast tissue and sends it to a lab. The lab tests the tissue for cancer cells.

    To see pictures of your breast tissue, your provider may order imaging studies. These include:

    • Mammogram: A mammogram is an X-ray of breast tissue.
    • Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to see images of soft tissues.
    • MRI: An MRI produces images of breast tissue using a high-powered magnet and radio waves.

    How Breast Cancer Differs For Men

    The main difference is that cancer in men tends to present at a later stage, and more aggressive. It has usually gone to their lymph nodes, which is the second station from starting from the chest where we call it localized disease.

    And then when it moves from the chest wall or the breast to the armpit, to lymph nodes, when cancer spreads from one place to another, that’s called locally advanced.

    So most male patients who present with breast cancer are locally advanced and have moved on from one place. They have jumped to another station and after that, we call it metastatic disease, which means that it spread to other parts of the body.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer In Men

    Because men dont have regular mammogram scans like women, physical signs of breast cancer are often the first indication a man notices. The most common symptoms of breast cancer in men include:

    • Breast lump: A thickened area, lump or mass may grow on the breast, behind the nipple or in the armpit.
    • Change in appearance: The breast tissue may look larger, puckered, misshapen or sunken. There may be a dimple or several small divots or pits, like the skin of an orange.
    • Pain: You may have tenderness, sensitivity or pain in the breast tissue or underarm area. Instead, you may have a painless lump in the breast or armpit.
    • Problems with the nipple: Clear fluid or bloody liquid may come out of the nipple. An inverted nipple can be another sign of breast cancer.
    • Skin changes: Red, flaky or scaly skin may appear anywhere on the breast or nipple area. You may see ulcers on the skin.


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