Is There A Genetic Link To Male Breast Cancer
The leading cause of male breast cancer is genetic predisposition meaning about 20% of men who develop breast cancer will have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. The same genes can elevate a womans risk for breast cancer BRCA1 and BRCA2 work similarly in men.
Additional risk factors for breast cancer in men include:
- Heavy alcohol use
- Taking estrogen
What Is Male Breast Cancer
Male breast cancer is a type of cancer that grows in a mans breast tissue. Although male breasts cant produce milk, they do have fatty tissue, ducts and breast cells. Breast tissue in men is similar to young girls breast tissue before they start puberty. Cancer develops when cells in these tissues grow uncontrollably, forming a tumor.
Treatment for male breast cancer includes chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy and targeted therapy. The outlook depends on the tumors size and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.
Male Breast Cancer Family History And Genetics
According to a 2016 medical paper, one of the main predisposing factors for male breast cancer is a positive family history.
Indeed, men with a first degree relative with breast cancer have a 2 time greater risk than those with no family history. This risk can increase up to 5 times greater with more affected relatives. It is estimated that up to 10% of male breast cancers are hereditary types.
This suggests that genetic factors play an important role in male breast cancer. Two important gene mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2 play a role in male breast cancer with BRCA2 carrying a higher risk.
A 2016 medical study found that the lifetime risk for males developing breast cancer is 1.5% for BRCA1 gene mutation and 5-10% for BRCA2 mutation carriers. This compares to a 0.1% risk factor for the general male population.
It has been suggested by medical research that BRCA2 breast cancers in men more closely resemble post-menopausal female breast cancer. However, these male breast cancers tend to be of a high grade.
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What Is A 5
A relative survival rate compares people with the same type and stage of cancer to people in the overall population. For example, if the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific stage of breast cancer in men is 80%, it means that men who have that cancer are, on average, about 80% as likely as men who dont have that cancer to live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed.
Breast Cancer Survival Rates In Men
Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed. They cant tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding of how likely it is that your treatment will be successful.
Keep in mind that survival rates are estimates and are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. These statistics can be confusing and may lead you to have more questions. Ask your doctor how these numbers might apply to you, as they are familiar with your situation.
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Types Of Stage 3 Breast Cancer
These days, people with breast cancer can know more about the tumor than ever before.
In addition to staging, oncologists can now determine a tumors grade and subtype. This information helps the doctor describe the tumor and cancer stage in a more detailed way so that other members of the care team can understand the cancer better.
The tumor grade and subtype of breast cancer can vary between people. Most doctors will test tumors to determine which genes they express, so that treatment options can adapt to the results.
Doctors define different types of stage 3 breast cancer by:
- Tumor grade: This is a measurement of how much the cancer cells differ from healthy cells under a microscope. This also provides a measure of how quickly the cancer cells are likely to grow.
- ER status: This describes whether the cancer cells have receptors for the hormone estrogen.
- PR status: This indicates whether the cancer cells have receptors for the hormone progesterone.
- HER2 status: This describes whether the cancer cells are making the HER2 protein.
How Do Men Check For Breast Cancer
Its important for menparticularly men with multiple risk factorsto be aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and to promptly report any concerns to their physician. Its also a good idea for men to familiarize themselves with how to perform a self-breast exam and do so on a monthly basis. This exam involves:
Regular, carefully performed self-breast exams are currently the best way for men to check for signs of breast cancer. While women are advised to receive routine mammograms, which involve compressing breast tissue between two imaging plates, this widely used screening method is difficult to perform on men with little breast tissue.
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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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Treatment Options For Male Breast Cancer
Male breast cancer treatment options can vary based on the cancers type and stage, along with factors such as the patients age and overall health. Many breast cancer treatment plans for men include a combination of:
- Surgery to remove tumors and surrounding tissues
- Radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells with targeted, high-energy rays
- Chemotherapy to attack cancer cells throughout the body using powerful drugs
- Immunotherapies that harness the bodys immune system to fight off cancer cells
- Targeted drug therapies to disrupt the processes that spur cancer growth
- Hormonal therapies to combat hormone receptor-positive breast cancers
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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:
Men With Breast Cancer Present At Later Stage Have Worse Prognosis Than Women
Men diagnosed with breast cancer often present with later-stage disease, which subsequently affects survival outcomes, according to a systematic review published in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology.
The review authors noted that male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of all breast cancers, and there is a paucity of data on oncologic, survival, and psychosocial outcomes in these patients.
The researchers conducted a systematic review of the literature to evaluate the management and outcomes of men with breast cancer. The team identified 59 articles, published from 1992 to 2021, reporting on studies involving more than 10 patients.
The studies encompassed a total of 39,529 patients who had a median age of 64.5 years and a mean follow-up time of 66.3 months .
Most patients had invasive ductal carcinoma . A majority had estrogen receptor-positive disease, 12.4% had HER2-positive disease, and 1.8% had triple-negative breast cancer.
The most common disease stage was stage 2 , followed by stage 1 , stage 3 , and stage 4 .
Mastectomy was the most common surgical technique, performed in 89.6% of cases. For adjuvant therapy, 58.1% of patients received endocrine therapy, and 43.6% received radiotherapy. Chemotherapy was given in the adjuvant and neoadjuvant settings .
The locoregional recurrence rate was 10.1%, and 21.4% of patients had distant recurrence.
Men And Breast Cancer: Statistics
According to the American Cancer Society:
Breast cancer in men is rare less than 1 percent of all breast cancer occurs in men.
About 2,350 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in men in the U.S in 2015.
Breast cancer is about 100 times more common in women.
About 440 men in the U.S. died from breast cancer in 2015.
Some people use statistics to figure out their chances of getting cancer. Or they use them to try to figure out their chance of being cured. Because no two people are alike, statistics cant be used to predict what will happen to one person. These statistics describe large groups of people. They dont take into account a person’s own risk factors, such as family history, behaviors, or cancer screenings. If you have questions, talk with your healthcare provider.
What Is Summary Cancer Staging
Summary cancer staging is the most basic way to stage any type of cancer, including breast cancer. Its used to estimate survival at the population level. Summary cancer staging is also called SEER staging because its used by the National Cancer Institutes Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program.
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Sex Life And Fertility
Breast cancer treatments can have a direct effect on your sex life and ability to have children . Talk to your doctor or breast care nurse, there are often things that can help.
You may have a loss of sex drive and erection difficulties . This often improves after treatment, but it may take longer or become permanent. If you have a partner, it is important to talk to them. You may both need some time to adjust.
Some treatments can reduce the number of sperm you produce or make you infertile. It may be possible to store sperm before treatment begins. Fertility and sexual issues can hard to cope with. You may find it helpful to talk through your feelings with your doctor, breast care nurse, or a trained counsellor.
It is important to use effective contraception while having chemotherapy and for some time afterwards. Chemotherapy drugs in a mans sperm may harm a developing baby.
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.
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.
Dont Delay Seeing A Health Care Provider
Some men may be embarrassed about a change in their breast or chest area. Others may not know its important and put off seeing a health care provider. This may result in a delay in breast cancer diagnosis. Survival is highest when breast cancer is found early and treated.
If you notice any of the warning signs above or other changes in your breast, chest area or nipple, see a health care provider right away.
If you dont have a health care provider, one of the best ways to find a good one is to get a referral from a trusted family member or friend.
You can also call your health department, or a nearby hospital or clinic. If you have insurance, your insurance company may have a list of health care providers in your area.
Information Booklet For Men
If you would like to know more about breast cancer in men, read BCNA’s Men get breast cancer too booklet. It provides information specifically for men, including treatments, coping strategies and common challenges that men face after a diagnosis. The booklet also mentions other resources and counselling services that are available to you. The booklet was developed with input from men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer as well as their family members, health professionals and researchers.
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Factors Influencing Metastatic Breast Cancer Prognosis
- There are several factors that can impact the prognosis of metastatic breast cancer, these include:6 1. Age 2. General health 3. Hormone receptors on cancer cells 4. The type of tissue involved 5. The number of tumors/extent of metastasis 6. A persons overall attitude and outlook on the prognosis
What Is Staging Of Male Breast Cancer
Doctors carry out staging to determine the extent to which a cancer has spread within the body. Staging of breast cancer in men is carried out identically to the staging of breast cancer in women. Imaging studies such as X-rays, CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging , ultrasound, and bone scans may be performed to evaluate the presence and extent of metastatic disease once the initial diagnosis of breast cancer had been made. The American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM staging system takes into account the tumor size, lymph node involvement by cancer, and presence of metastasis. For 2018, a new edition of the AJCC staging system also takes into account biologic characteristics of the tumor including estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor status, tumor grade , and the presence of the HER-2 protein on the cancer cells.
- T: tumor size and extent of local spread
- N: extent of tumor involvement of lymph nodes in the axillary region. Since the nipple area is rich in lymphatic vessels, male breast cancer commonly spreads via the lymphatic channels to the axillary lymph nodes.
- M: presence of distant metastases
Stage 0 refers to intraductal carcinoma or ductal cancer in situ, in which the cancer cells have not spread beyond the boundaries of the ducts themselves.
In Stage I breast cancer, the tumor is 2 cm or less in greatest diameter and has not spread to the lymph nodes or to other sites in the body.
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Surgery And Radiation Therapy
Sometimes, breast surgery in men is a lumpectomy . Men who have a lumpectomy usually have radiation therapy after surgery.
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.
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