Male Breast Cancer

Men can get Breast Cancer too, but it is relatively rare in comparison to women #CheckFeelLookKnow

Are you at risk?

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women, whereas Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in Men. BUT Breast cancer can affect men and is relatively rare as around 380 men will be diagnosed per year, this is about a 1 in 870 chance (women are around 1 in 7 chance).

As we age, the risk of cancer generally increases; this is due to how our cells mutate.

Other risk factors that have been reported:


Ageing is the main risk factor for male breast cancer with most cases being diagnoses between 60 and 70 years old.


Previous exposure to radiation


Having family members who have had breast cancer or who carry a breast cancer gene


Raised Oestrogen Levels*

What should Men do?

Only about 1% of breast cancer cases are in males but it is still important to know what to look out for. Feeling for a lump is similar for men and women but men should take particular care around their nipple as most male cancers are found here. However, it’s important to check the whole area of breast including under the arm and all the way up to the collarbone. As well as feeling for changes, it’s important to look for them too. Men should be aware of any of these symptoms:

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  A lump in the breast area that is usually painless

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  Swelling in the breast

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  A sore or ulcer on the breast

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  A lump or swelling in the armpit

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  Any discharge or bleeding from the nipple

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  A newly inverted nipple

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  A rash or the nipple or breast

As we advise anyone who sees us, if you notice any changes, see your GP without delay. If your GP is concerned you will be referred for an ultrasound scan and sometimes a mammogram.


*Raised Oestrogen Levels

All men produce small levels of oestrogen which is perfectly natural but if this level is high, it can increase the risk of breast cancer. Factors that raise oestrogen levels are:

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  Being obese

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  Liver cirrhosis and other long term liver conditions

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  Other genetic conditions such as Klinefelter’s syndrome (a rare condition where a man is born with an extra female chromosome)


The treatments for male breast cancer are the same ones used for female breast cancer. You may be offered:

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png Surgery to remove the affected breast tissue and nipple and possibly some of the glands under your arm

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png Radiotherapy

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  Chemotherapy

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  Hormone therapy

cropped-LadyMcAddenLogo-favicon.png  Targeted cancer drug therapy

It is common to have surgery followed by another treatment which helps stop cancer returning in the future.

As with all types of cancer, a healthy lifestyle including a varied diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can help to reduce your risk. If you would like a breast awareness session please book in with one of our nurses. It’s important for everyone to know the signs, not just women.

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