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What Does Breast Cancer In Men Feel Like

Cancer Symptoms In Men

What Does Breast Cancer FEEL LIKE?

Men are notorious for ignoring health problems. In some cases, if the underlying cause of a problem is cancer, ignoring symptoms could put men at risk. Some cancer symptoms in men are specific only to men , and others symptoms such as pain or fatigue are general and could have many causes.

Breast cancer in men is not common, but is it possible. Any mass in the breast area, or breast changes such as:

  • dimpling or puckering of the skin,
  • nipple retraction,

Men possess a small amount of nonfunctioning breast tissue that is concentrated in the area directly behind the nipple on the chest wall. Like breast cancer in women, cancer of the male breast is the uncontrolled growth of some of the cells of this breast tissue that have the potential to spread elsewhere in the body. These cells become so abnormal in appearance and behavior that they are then called cancer cells.

Breast tissue in healthy young boys and girls consists of tubular structures known as ducts. At puberty, a girl’s ovaries produce female hormones that cause the ducts to grow and milk-producing glands to develop at the ends of the ducts. The amount of fat and connective tissue in the breast also increases as girls go through puberty. On the other hand, male hormones secreted by the testes suppress the growth of breast tissue and the development of lobules. The male breast, therefore, is made up of predominantly small, undeveloped ducts and a small amount of fat and connective tissue.

How Is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Diagnosed

Same Day Results

At the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, we know how quickly patients want results from a biopsy or scan if there is a suspicion of breast cancer. We follow strict guidelines for biopsies and pathology reports. Most of our patients will receive the probability of cancer immediately following their biopsy procedure and a pathology confirmation within 24 hours.

Learn more about the steps of diagnosis, including:

  • Digital mammography
  • Biologic targeted therapy

Survival Rates For Breast Cancer In Men

Its important to note that statistics and prognosis information are based on previous patients and past treatments, and the outlook may be even more improved when diagnosed today.

The five-year relative survival rate for men with breast cancer overall is 84 percent. This means men with breast cancer are 84 percent as likely to live five years beyond their diagnosis as men in the general population. When the cancer is localized, the five-year survival rate is 96 percent. The 10-year relative survival rate for men with breast cancer is 71 percent.

How soon youre diagnosed with cancer after it starts growing can affect survival rates. However, men have been found to have overall higher rates of death compared to women, which experts attribute to being diagnosed later.


Also Check: What To Say To Someone Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

I Found A Breast Lump On Self

I was watching videos on Youtube and came across a video by a breast cancer survivor. In that video, she showed how to conduct a self-breast examination. Curiously, I followed the instructions, and I was surprised to find a lump! For a second, I thought it could just be my imagination, but it was still there the next day. However, I had no pain, discharge, or any other abnormal symptoms.

I had been using the Your Doctors Online application for more than a month at that point, so I logged in and got connected with Dr. Honaker. He calmed me down and took a detailed personal and family history. After I had described what the lump felt like in detail, he told me the likely cause was a fibroadenoma, a noncancerous breast lump. Because I didnt have any symptoms, the lump didnt require treatment.

After the consultation, I finally managed to book an appointment with my GP as well. She further confirmed that it was a fibroadenoma. Your Doctors Online never fails to impress me with their quick and thorough diagnosis. Calla.

What Are The Possible Symptoms

Breast Cancer Now on Twitter: "Learn more about the signs ...

The signs can include:

Lumps. Men with breast cancer usually have one or more. They might show up on your chest or under your armpit. They tend to be painless.

Breast changes. You might notice a difference in the size or shape of your breast area.

Skin changes. Parts of your breast may look:

  • Dimpled, sometimes resembling the texture of an orange peel
  • Puckered, meaning folded or wrinkled looking
  • Scaly, red, or swollen

Nipple problems. Your nipple may turn inward, or leak fluid thatâs clear or bloody. The skin around it may also have redness, swelling, or scaling.

In general, breast cancer causes similar symptoms in men and women.

Recommended Reading: Is Stage 1 Breast Cancer Curable

Treatments For Breast Cancer In Men

The treatment for breast cancer in men depends on how far the cancer has spread.

Possible treatments include:

  • surgery to remove the affected;breast tissue and nipple ;and some of the glands in your armpit
  • radiotherapy; where radiation is used to kill cancer cells
  • chemotherapy; where cancer medicine is used to kill cancer cells
  • other medicines that help stop breast cancer growing including tamoxifen and trastuzumab

Many men have surgery followed by 1 or more of the other treatments. This can help stop the cancer coming back;in;the future.

Read more about treatments for;breast cancer in men.

What Do Male Breast Cancer Lumps Feel Like

  • What Do Male Breast Cancer Lumps Feel Like? Center
  • A lump-like swelling in the breast that may or may not be painful is the most common symptom of male breast cancer. A lump or thickening may be near the breast or in the underarm area. One side of the chest may appear bulkier than the other. Although most men diagnosed with breast cancer are older than 65 years, breast cancer can appear in younger men. Other common signs and symptoms may include:

    • A change in the size or shape of the nipples
    • Men with breast cancer usually have lumps that can be felt
    • A dimple or puckering in the skin around the nipple
    • A nipple turned inward
    • Fluid;discharge from the nipple, especially if it’s bloody
    • Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or;areola;
    • Dimples in the breast that looks like the skin of an orange, called;peau dorange
    • Sometimes breast cancer can spread and cause swelling;under the arm or around the collar bone even before the original tumor in the breast becomes big enough to be felt

    Recommended Reading: How Likely Am I To Get Breast Cancer

    Myth : Doctors Can Tell If A Lump Is Cancer Just By Feeling It

    Wrong. Neither you nor your healthcare provider no matter how good he or she is can tell whether a lump is cancer without diagnostic imaging.

    Providers who say, Its probably OK, without investigating further may cause a delay in diagnosing breast cancer, Dr. Pederson says. Dont let your doctor guess. Get imaging.

    Women age 30 and older will have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. An ultrasound helps evaluate a mass by assessing whether it is solid or fluid-filled. Women under age 30 will have only an ultrasound because younger, denser breasts are difficult to evaluate by mammogram.

    Suspicious lumps should be biopsied. Typically, a sample of tissue is drawn through a needle. Then the tissue is studied under a microscope.

    Symptoms Of Breast Cancer In Black Men

    What does a breast cancer tumor feel like – breast self exam saves lives!

    The main sign of breast cancer in Black men is a lump in the breast, although the nipple and adjacent breast tissue may be affected.

    Most lumps and swellings are not a sign of cancer, but you should never categorically ignore them. Theyre usually caused by something fairly harmless, such as enlarged male breast tissue , a fatty lump , or a fluid-filled bump .

    Even though rates of breast cancer in Black men are relatively low, all lumps should be checked by a healthcare provider.;

    Other signs of breast cancer to look for include:

    • Swelling of the breast
    • Swollen glands, especially under the armpit
    • Bloody or red nipple discharge
    • Red or hardened breast tissue

    Of note, men with a lump in their breast usually have one or more of these specific characteristics:

    • Occurs in one breast
    • Feels bumpy rather than smooth
    • Gradually grows in size over time

    Also Check: How To Cure Breast Cancer

    Men With Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is uncommon in men, but it does happen.; About;one per cent of all diagnosed cases of breast cancer in New Zealand will be in men.;

    Initial symptoms of breast cancer in men can include:

    • ;a lump or lumpiness around your nipple
    • a change in the shape of your nipple
    • bleeding from the nipple
    • pain in the nipple or pectoral area

    If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical help straight away. ;Many men assume that only women can get breast cancer and either;do not seek help or are too embarrassed to seek help.;

    Many men who are diagnosed with breast cancer feel embarrassed or ashamed to tell others about the disease, again because it is a disease that is most often associated with women.; Some men feel they may be ridiculed or that their masculinity;will be questioned because they’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.; Friends, family and supporters will never make you feel like this.; Start by telling;close friends and family about your disease so that they can support you through this difficult time.

    Surgery for men with breast cancer is usually a mastectomy which involves the removal of all breast tissue, the nipple and areola.; It may also involve the removal of lymph nodes and possibly;some of the chest muscle, although this is rare.;

    Follow up treatment may include radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.; You can find out more about these treatment options;under the treatment section of this website.

    Find out more

    Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer

    Common symptoms of breast cancer include:

    • A lump in your breast or underarm that doesnât go away. This is often the first symptom of breast cancer. Your doctor can usually see a lump on a mammogram long before you can see or feel it.
    • Swelling in your armpit or near your collarbone. This could mean breast cancer has spread to lymph nodes in that area. Swelling may start before you feel a lump, so let your doctor know if you notice it.
    • Pain and tenderness, although lumps donât usually hurt. Some may cause a prickly feeling.
    • A flat or indented area on your breast. This could happen because of a tumor that you canât see or feel.
    • Breast changes such as a difference in the size, contour, texture, or temperature of your breast.
    • Changes in your nipple, like one that:
    • Pulls inward
    • Develops sores
  • Unusual nipple discharge. It could be clear, bloody, or another color.
  • A marble-like area under your skin that feels different from any other part of either breast.
  • Recommended Reading: What Is Intraductal Breast Cancer

    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.

    Metastatic Breast Cancer & Pain

    What Does a Breast Cancer Lump Feel Like? Learn the Symptoms

    Metastatic breast cancer may also cause pain.;It could be from a larger tumorthese are often over two centimeters in diameteror pain in other regions of the body due to the spread of cancer. If breast cancer spreads to your bones, it may cause bone pain in your chest, or back pain with leg weakness.;If cancer spreads to your brain, it may cause headaches.;

    If breast cancer travels to the adrenal glands, you may feel a dull back pain. If your breast cancer spreads to your liver, you could have pain in the upper right part of the abdomen and develop jaundice .

    Don’t Miss: How You Know You Have Breast Cancer

    When To Seek Care

    Having one or more symptoms does not mean you have breast cancer. Symptoms of breast cancer can be similar to those of other conditions.

    Male breast cancer is rare, making up only about 1 percent of all cases. That said, its easier to treat breast cancer before it spreads, so see your doctor if you have:

    • a lump or hard mass on your chest or underarm
    • nipple inversion or discharge
    • dimpling or puckering of the skin

    A large retrospective study published in 2019 concluded there is a potential benefit to screening men at high risk of developing breast cancer. If you think you may be at high risk of breast cancer, it might be worth discussing with your doctor or a genetic specialist.

    Most breast lumps are caused by something other than cancer but may still require treatment.

    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 ;

    Read Also: Does Nipple Piercing Cause Breast Cancer

    Coping With A Diagnosis

    Being told you have breast cancer can cause a wide range of emotions. These could be shock, fear, confusion and, in some cases, embarrassment. Feelings of isolation are also common.

    Speak to your GP or care team if you’re struggling to come to terms with your diagnosis. They can offer support and advice.

    You may also find it useful to talk to other men with the condition.

    Content supplied by the;NHS;and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

    Page last reviewed: 16 May 2019 Next review due: 16 May 2022

    What Causes Male Breast Cancer

    This is what breast cancer looks like. #punkpower not #pinkpower

    The exact causes of male breast cancer are unknown. Everyone, including men, is born with a small amount of breast tissue that contains milk-producing glands , ducts that carry milk to the nipples and fat. During puberty, women develop more breast tissue whereas men dont. Based on research, it is believed that male breast cancer occurs when some of the breast cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells and form a tumor. The tumor can spread to nearby tissue, lymph nodes and other distant parts of the body.

    The causes of male breast cancer include

    Recommended Reading: What To Eat During Breast Cancer Treatment

    How Does Cancer Cause Signs And Symptoms

    A cancer can grow into,or begin to push on nearby organs, blood vessels, and nerves. This pressure causes some of the signs and symptoms of cancer.

    A cancer may also cause symptoms like fever, extreme tiredness , or weight loss. This may be because cancer cells use up much of the bodys energy supply. Or the cancer could release substances that change the way the body makes energy. Cancer can also cause the immune system to react in ways that produce these signs and symptoms.

    Breast Development And Anatomy

    Most breast cancers begin in the milk ducts and the lobules, the structures containing the milk-producing glands.

    Both male and female breast tissue consists of a few ducts under the nipple and areola until puberty. During puberty, females develop increased levels of certain hormones which cause these ducts to grow and lobules to form.

    Males typically have low levels of these hormones, and as a result, the breast tissue does not grow as much. Although male breasts have ducts, they only have a few lobules and mainly consist of fat tissue.

    Also Check: What Is Adjuvant Therapy For Breast Cancer

    What Is Male Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from cells of the breast. Before puberty, girls and boys alike have a small amount of breast tissue with a few ducts located under the nipple and areola. Hormonal changes at puberty cause girls breasts to grow. Male breast tissue does not increase as it does in females after puberty.

    The breast tissues contain ducts and may contain a few lobules . Mens breast duct cells can become cancerous like any other cell of the body. This disease is less common in men than in women because mens breast ducts are less developed.

    Causes and risk factors of male breast cancer

    The cause of breast cancer in men is not clear. However, there are risk factors that make breast cancer more likely in men:

    • Most breast lumps in men are caused by gynecomastia , which is an enlargement of the breast resulting from hormonal imbalance
    • Exposure to radiation
    • High estrogenic levels due to factors, such as heavy drinking,;cirrhosis, obesity, and some medicines that were used to treat;prostate cancer, may sometimes cause hormonal imbalance leading to breast cancer
    • Heredity, such as a family history of breast cancer or mutated;BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene in the family
    • Certain genetic disorders, such as;Klinefelter syndrome
    • Older age, men are often diagnosed with breast cancer between ages of 60 to 70 years

    Stages of male breast cancer

    Treatment options for male breast cancer


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