Can men get breast cancer? Breast cancer can happen to anyone. We most often think about women getting breast cancer, but men can get this disease too. If you have a breast, you are susceptible to breast cancer. It’s that simple. Now that you know, let’s look at some risk factors and symptoms of male breast cancer.
Recent Statistics About Male Breast Cancer
The very fact that you don’t hear much about men getting breast cancer is due to how rare it is, but don’t be fooled into thinking it isn’t serious.
Although rare, the American Cancer Society estimates for 2020 include 2600 new invasive cases of breast cancer in the US with 520 deaths. Older men are more likely to be diagnosed and black men tend to have a worse prognosis.
Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer In Men
Now that you know it can happen to you or your partner, you should be aware of some telltale signs. If you notice any of the following, contact Southwest Diagnostic Center for Molecular Imaging for an exam and a mammogram.
Any changes in the breast area, chest or nipple should be evaluated, but especially the following:
- A lump, hard knot, or a thickness in the breast or underarm. This is usually painless but can be tender.
- Change in the size of shape of the breast
- Itchy sore or rash on the nipple
- Inverted nipple
- Changes in skin like puckering or dimpling including redness
- Nipple discharge (very rare)
Common Risk Factors For Male Breast Cancer
Older men with a history of breast cancer in the family, being overweight or obese, and having the BRCA2 gene mutation are all risk factors for breast cancer in a man.
In addition, your risk is higher if you have a condition known as Gynecomastia which is enlarged breast tissue or Klinefelter’s syndrome with high levels of estrogen.
Treatments For Male Breast Cancer
After a diagnosis, many of the same treatments as women will be performed consisting of a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and hormone of targeted therapy. Since male breast tissue is scarce a mastectomy is normally performed vs a lumpectomy.
Ask Southwest Diagnostic Center for Molecular Imaging what treatments they recommend and the prognosis.
One Last Warning
The mortality rate is higher for men than women. This is most likely because there is less awareness of male breast cancer and it’s rarely in the news. As a consequence, men don’t pay attention to the symptoms and treatment comes too late when the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body.