What is breast cancer in men?

A malignant tumor that starts from the cells of breast is known as breast cancer. Malignant tumors are the groups of cells that can grow and spread fast. These cells are nothing but the cancer cells. They affect the nearby tissues and other parts of the body very quickly.
When we talk about breast cancer we probably think of a women suffering. But not only women but men can also get breast cancer. So men should be aware of this because they can also develop breast cancer at some stage of their life.

Normal breast structure

Before talking about Breast cancer we should have some basic knowledge about the structure of the breasts. Mainly breasts are formed by milk producing glands in women. These glands are mainly lobules. Ducts and stroma are some important parts of breasts. Ducts help to carry milk to the nipples and stromas are fatty tissues surrounding ducts, lobules and blood vessels and lymhatic vessels.
The phenomenon puberty occurs mainly in the age of 13 0r 14. Before puberty both boys and girls have some breast tissues which consist of some ducts under nipple and areola. When a girl reaches puberty she is likely to grow some female hormones and thus there is an increase in the stroma. At this time boys get hormones from testicles which confine the growth of breasts. But there are some duct cells present in man’s breast. Like any other cells of the body these cells can undergo cancer dangers. But breast cancer is less common in men who have less developed breast duct cells.

Breast cancer symptoms in men

  • Over 75% cases painless lump in the breast is felt
  • There may be nipple retraction or discharge or ulceration.
  • Sometimes there are painful lump
  • In 1% cases Paget’s disease can be seen. It is an special type of cancer which shows rashes around the skin in the nipple.

Risk factors for breast cancer in men – Breast cancer causes in men

  • Alcoholism can be a cause of male breast cancer.
  • From several breast cancers in men articles it is seen that obesity is another reason.
  • Liver damage or dysfunctions are one of the breast cancer in men causes.
  • Testicular abnormality can be a reason.
  • Radiotherapy in chest can be cause of breast cancer in men and women.
  • Family history can be a culprit.
  • Klinfelter’s syndrome.

Breast cancer treatments in men


If the cancer is found in its early stages simple or modified mastectomy can be used along with surgical assessment of the lymph nodes.

Sentinel lymph nodes biopsy or axillary dissection is used for the assessment of lymph nodes.

Radio therapy

Standard amount of radiation dosages can be used to treat breast cancer in men. The dosages are same for the male and female. Males are more likely to receive radiotherapy than women because breast cancer in men develops at a later stage in men. Till now radiotherapy has been very effective in preventing breast cancer in men.

Systematic Therapy

Men can receive systematic chemotherapy. Most of the times men with breast cancer are seen to be hormone receptor positive (HR+). In those cases treatment with tamoxifen is standard for men.

Quality of Life

It is hard for men to survive breast cancer because there is very less consciousness about the breast cancer in men Vs. breast cancer in women. There is a large amount of talking and public awareness about the female breast cancer. But for men these are very less. Men also suffer from masculinity and stigmatism issues.


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