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Male Breast Cancer

Features

  • The most common sign of breast cancer for both men and women is a lump or thickening in the breast. Often the lump is painless.
  • Other male breast cancer symptoms include:
  • Skin dimpling or puckering;
  • Development of a new retraction or indentation of the nipple;
  • Changes in the nipple or breast skin, such as scaling or redness;
  • Nipple discharge.

Epidemiology

Breast cancer isn’t just a woman’s disease. Men also have breast tissue that can undergo cancerous changes. While women are about 100 times more likely to get breast cancer, any man can develop breast cancer. Male breast cancer is most common between the ages of 60 and 70.

The prognosis for male breast cancer is the same as for breast cancer in women. In the past, male breast cancer was often diagnosed at a more advanced stage, which may have led people to believe it had a worse prognosis. Although male breast cancer and breast cancer in women are similar, important distinctions such as breast size and awareness affect early diagnosis and survival in cases of male breast cancer.

Causes

In most cases it isn’t clear what triggers abnormal cell growth in breast tissue in men. But doctors do know that about one in six cases of breast cancer in men are inherited, compared with about 5% to 10% of breast cancer in women. Other inherited genes also may increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Knowing your family history is important to determine your chance of inheriting an abnormal gene. Other factors include:

  • Age;
  • Family history and genetic predisposition;
  • Radiation exposure e.g. chest x-rays during childhood;
  • Exposure to estrogen e.g. hormones taken during sex changes and prostate cancer;
  • Liver disease;
  • Excess weight’
  • Excessive use of alcohol;

Treatment

The tree basic treatments of breast cancer are:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy