Men's breast cancer is rare, but it happens to approximately 2000 men every year with thousands more reporting benign lumps or non-cancerous tissue growth. Men account for approximately one percent of all breast cancer patients. To learn more about male breast cancer, keep reading.

Male Breast Cancer Symptoms

Though most lumps or changes in the breast for men are benign (not cancerous) abnormalities, men should still report any major changes, irritations or problems to their doctors as soon as possible.

The most common symptoms of breast cancer in men are actually quite similar to the symptoms for women. These include nipple inversion, detecting a lump, unexplained tissue growth, change in breast size, skin puckering or dimpling, nipple discharge, itchiness or redness.

Because men typically have less breast tissue than most women, it is generally easier to find and detect a breast lump on a man's chest than on a woman's. However, since breast cancer is so rare in men, many simply ignore these symptoms, allowing the disease to go untreated.

Risk Factors for Men's Breast Cancer

Elder Age

Men between the ages of 60 and 70 are the most likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.


About one-fifth of men who are diagnosed with breast cancer have at least one immediate female relative who has or had breast cancer.

Exposure to Radiation

Prior radiation exposure (such as treatment for another cancer) can be a contributing factor to male breast cancer.

Liver Disease

Because the liver helps to regulate hormone levels, many men who have endured a liver disease have hormonal problems such as lower levels of androgens. This puts them at an increased risk for developing breast cancer or gynecomastia (benign tissue growth).

Estrogen Treatments

Often men who are being treated for prostate cancer are put on estrogen treatments to help control the disease. These men may be at a higher risk for developing breast cancer. That said, the American Cancer Society says those risks are small and worth the benefits of improved health for prostate cancer patients.


Klinefelter's Syndrome occurs at birth when a man is born with two or more X (female) chromosomes. Typically, men have one Y chromosome and one X chromosome.

Men with Klinefelter's usually have higher estrogen levels and lower androgen levels. This typically translates to a more significant risk rate for breast cancer.

How Breast Cancer in Men is Treated

Methods for treating men's breast cancer include surgical removal of the tumor and any cancerous cells, chemo, radiation therapy, hormone therapy or a combination of all these treatments.

The survival rates for men with breast cancer often depend on the stage of the disease but range from 96% for stage I diagnosis to 24% for a stage IV diagnosis.

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