Male Breast Cancer
Are you at risk?
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:
A lump in the breast area that is usually painless
Swelling in the breast
A sore or ulcer on the breast
A lump or swelling in the armpit
Any discharge or bleeding from the nipple
A newly inverted nipple
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:
Liver cirrhosis and other long term liver conditions
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:
Surgery to remove the affected breast tissue and nipple and possibly some of the glands under your arm
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.
Get In Touch
Lady McAdden Breast Cancer Trust
Registered Charity in England (1062236)
Registered company in England (03334552)
203 Elmsleigh Drive, Leigh on Sea, Essex, SS9 4JH
Copyright © 2022 Registered Charity in England (1062236).
Registered company in England (03334552).
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