Breast Cancer in Men
What Is Breast Cancer in Men?
Breast Cancer in men is cancer affecting the comparatively small amount of breast tissue in the male chest.
Breast Cancer is a malignancy that can spread to other tissues throughout the body (metastasize). If diagnosed early, the outcome is good but most cases are diagnosed at a later stage as compared to women as men often believe that they can not get breast cancer and tend to ignore breast lumps for a much longer period of time.
Who Does Breast Cancer in Men Affect?
Male Breast Cancer is a relatively rare condition and usually affects men of older age, but it can develop at any age. It is generally associated with:
- Older age (60s and above)
- Strong family history of breast cancer
- Inherited gene mutations associated with breast cancer such as BRCA2
- Estrogen therapy
- Testicular disease or injury
- Liver cirrhosis
- Klinefelter’s syndrome
Symptoms of Breast Cancer in Men
The most common symptoms include:
- Skin changes over breast such as redness, scaling or puckering
- Nipple discharge
- Nipple turning inwards
- A sensation of thickening or a lump developing in the breast tissue
Types of Breast Cancer in Men
The types of breast cancers evidenced in men include:
- Ductal carcinomas. These account for almost all cases of breast cancer in men
- Lobular carcinoma
- Rarer types include inflammatory breast cancer and Paget’s disease
Stages of Breast Cancer in Men
The breast cancer in men is classified in five main groups according to the TNM staging system, based on the extent and size of the primary tumour, number of involved lymph nodes and metastasis.
How Is Breast Cancer in Men Diagnosed?
The diagnosis for breast cancer in men is made by taking a complete history and a complete physical examination, including a breast examination.
The doctor will also conduct a mammogram and breast tissue biopsies to confirm the diagnosis and type of breast cancer.
How Is Breast Cancer in Men Treated?
Breast Cancer in men is very manageable if diagnosed early. The treatment is determined by the extent and the stage of cancer. Treatment options include:
- Complete removal of the breast tissue by surgery (mastectomy)
- Radiation therapy
- And hormone therapy.
A diagnosis of breast cancer can be traumatizing, so the doctor might also recommend support group meetings and exercise to deal with the stress.