Men’s Breast Cancer

From NPR: When Men Get Breast Cancer, They Enter a World of Pink

Many men do not realize they can develop breast cancer since the disease is more common in women. This can delay diagnosis and as a result, some cancers are not found until they have progressed to a later stage. However, when cancer is found at the same stage among men and women, the survival rates are similar. Male breast cancer is more likely to spread to the chest wall, so it is very important to find the cancer early for successful treatment. See your health care provider right away if you have any lumps or changes in your breast or chest area.

Risk Factors for men include:

  • Growing Older. Risk increases with age.
  • Family History. Men can inherit BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes too. If there is a high incidence of breast and/or ovarian cancer in the family, men may want to be tested to see if they carry any genetic risk.
  • Heavy Alcohol Use, Liver Disease, and Obesity. All of these factors increase a man’s estrogen levels, along with hormonal medications and exposure to estrogens in the environment. Higher estrogen levels can lead to breast cancer in men just as it does for women.
  • Radiation Exposure to the chest before age 30.
  • Klinefelter Syndrome. This syndrome is a condition present at birth that affects 1 in 1,000 men.

For more information on Male Breast Cancer, please visit these sites:

Male Breast Cancer Coalition

Living Beyond Breast Cancer: Breast Cancer in Men

National Breast Cancer Foundation