Breast Cancer in Men: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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When we talk about breast cancer, most people associate it with women. However, it’s important to note that men can also develop breast cancer, although it is much less common. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for breast cancer in men.

Causes of Male Breast Cancer

The exact cause of breast cancer in men is still unknown. However, certain factors may increase the risk of developing the disease. These include:

  • Age: The risk of breast cancer increases with age, and most cases occur in men over 60 years old.
  • Family history: Having a close relative, such as a mother, sister, or daughter, with breast cancer may increase the risk.
  • Genetic mutations: Inherited gene mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase the risk of breast cancer in both men and women.
  • Hormonal imbalance: Conditions that affect hormone levels, such as Klinefelter syndrome or liver disease, may increase the risk.
  • Exposure to radiation: Previous radiation treatment to the chest area may increase the risk of breast cancer.

Symptoms of Male Breast Cancer

The symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those in women and may include:

  • A lump or swelling in the breast or under the nipple.
  • Nipple retraction or inversion.
  • Discharge from the nipple.
  • Redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation.

Diagnosis of Male Breast Cancer

Diagnosing breast cancer in men involves several steps, including:

  • Physical examination: The doctor will perform a thorough physical examination, including the breast and lymph nodes.
  • Mammogram: A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast tissue and can help detect any abnormalities.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of the breast tissue and can help determine if a lump is solid or fluid-filled.
  • Biopsy: If an abnormality is found, a biopsy may be performed to remove a small sample of tissue for further testing.

These diagnostic tests will help determine if the lump or abnormality is cancerous and if further treatment is necessary.

Treatment of Male Breast Cancer

The treatment options for male breast cancer are similar to those for women and may include:

  • Surgery: The most common treatment for male breast cancer is surgery to remove the tumor. This may involve a lumpectomy (removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue) or a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast).
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells and may be used after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells and may be recommended if the cancer has spread beyond the breast.
  • Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy may be used to block the effects of estrogen in hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

The specific treatment plan will depend on the stage of the cancer, the individual’s overall health, and other factors. It’s important to discuss the options with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action.


While breast cancer is more commonly associated with women, it’s crucial to remember that men can also be affected by this disease. Understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for male breast cancer is essential for early detection and effective management. If you notice any changes in your breast or experience any symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. Early detection and prompt treatment can greatly improve the chances of successful outcomes.


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