Male Breast Cancer

This is a rare cancer account for less than 1% of all cancers that affect men and less than 1% of all cases of breast cancer. Some genetic disorders and the presence of family history of breast cancer increase the risk of male breast cancer but the cause remains largely unknown. There are other risk factors linked to male breast cancer like obesity, previous radiation exposure, high oestrogen level and cirrhosis.


Symptoms of male breast cancer are usually similar to symptoms of female breast cancer but it tends to be diagnosed late because men are either unaware of the symptoms or reluctant to report them early. Some men are even unaware that male breast cancer does exist and therefore may contribute a breast lump to recent injury or inflammation.

The most common symptom is the presence of a lump but there are also other symptoms and signs like nipple discharge (blood-stained or clear fluid), itching, and change in the feel or appearance of the skin covering the breast area. If you do have any of these symptoms or any concerns that you may have breast cancer you must report them to your GP immediately as early treatment may save lives.


Management of male breast cancer is usually extrapolated from female breast cancer. The most common surgical procedure is a mastectomy. Indications for chemotherapy and radiotherapy are similar to their indications for female breast cancer. Patients with hormone-receptor-positive cancer will take daily Tamoxifen for 5 years.

Breast examination in men. Use the palm of the hand to apply gentle pressure on the breast area.

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