Male breast cancer: An uncommon but serious worry

Although breast cancer is most often linked to women, males may also be affected by this illness, and this must be acknowledged. Despite being relatively uncommon, male breast cancer remains a serious problem. Though it makes up just 1% of all occurrences of breast cancer, it is often disregarded. We will discuss male breast cancer prevalence, risk factors, symptoms, and the critical value of early diagnosis in this post.

In the United States, data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program of the National Cancer Institute show that, of 289,673 instances of breast cancer identified between 2005 and 2010, just 2,054 were in males, making up only 0.7% of all cases. A meta-analysis research revealed that the incidence of male breast cancer varied around the globe, with Brazil having the highest rates (3.4 cases per 100,000 man-years) and Japan and Singapore having the lowest (0.1 cases per 100,000 man-years).

According to research conducted at Indian institutions, male breast cancer accounts for fewer than 1 percent of all instances of the disease and mostly affects older males, usually in their sixth or seventh decade of life. Male breast cancer risk increases with age.

It’s critical to comprehend the risk factors associated with male breast cancer, especially because males are not often examined for the illness and do not consider the likelihood of developing it. Because of this, males are more likely than women to have breast cancer when it is first discovered.

Risk elements

The primary factor is becoming older. As people age, the danger also rises, just as it does for women. Men diagnosed with breast cancer are typically about 68 years old. This age is lower in India than it is in the West.elevated estrogen levels Estrogen stimulates the formation of breast cells, both healthy and malformed. Males may have elevated amounts of estrogen due to:Hormone medication use: The production of estrogen is increased when one is overweight. having been exposed to environmental estrogens (e.g., hormones present in meat, including estrogen), or DDT breakdown metabolites (which may mimic the actions of estrogen in the body). Abusing alcohol excessively may impair the liver’s capacity to control blood estrogen levels. Lower levels of androgens, or male hormones, and greater levels of estrogen, or feminine hormones, are often associated with liver illness. This raises the chance of both breast cancer and gynecomastia, or non-cancerous breast tissue expansion. Men with Klinefelter syndrome, for example, have greater amounts of estrogen (female hormones) and lower levels of androgens (male hormones). As a result, they are more likely to have breast cancer and gynecomastia, which is non-cancerous breast tissue growth\\. Males with Klinefelter syndrome have several copies of the female and X chromosomes—up to four in certain cases. Klinefelter syndrome is characterized by smaller testicles than usual and infertility (inability to generate sperm), as well as longer legs, a louder voice, and a thinner beard than ordinary males.Genetic mutations or a significant family history of breast cancer: males are more susceptible to breast cancer due to family history, especially if other males in the family have also had the disease. If there is a known hereditary abnormality for breast cancer in the family, the risk is also increased. Male breast cancer is more common in men who inherit faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes (BR stands for breast, and CA for cancer). Male breast cancer and prostate cancer are quite prevalent in men within the family, and there is a significant correlation between these conditions and abnormalities in the BRCA2 gene.Radiation exposure: A man’s chance of getting breast cancer is enhanced if he has had radiation treatment to the chest for any ailment, including lymphoma, bone tumors, hypertrophic scars, or keloid formation.

The indications listed below, if they are present, should be addressed right away:

a breast bulge that is feltAdrenal painA nipple discharge that is inverted (clear or bloody)bigger lymph nodes behind the arm

It’s crucial to remember that breast growth on both sides—rather than just one—is often NOT cancerous. Gynecomastia is the medical word for this condition. Breast enlargement may result from weight increase, certain drugs, excessive alcohol consumption, or idiopathic causes. Cancer is not caused by gynecomastia per se; rather, gynecomastia is a result of the elevated estrogen state that promotes cancer.

An average of more than a year and a half passes between the onset of symptoms and the diagnosis of male breast cancer, according to a small research. The prolonged period between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis is likely due to the fact that males are less likely than women to get breast cancer, which results in little to no early detection.

An earlier diagnosis could save a person’s life. Men will discover that, similar to women, they should see a doctor straight immediately if they see any chronic changes to their breasts if more public awareness is raised.

Making a diagnosis involves assessing the symptoms and indicators by

Breast examimaging of the breastIf present, the cytology of the Nipple dischargeCore needle biopsy of the breast lumpFor assessing distant spread, imaging methods such as PET CT, MRI, CT scan, bone scan, etc.


Men In general, hormones have a favorable role in breast cancer. Surgery and hormone therapy are the two treatments available if it is discovered early. In cases when the illness is advanced, treatment with chemotherapy and radiation is required.

Male physical damage and breast loss do not have the same effect as female body disfigurement. Nonetheless, men have psychological effects from losing a nipple. Thus, in the case of male breast cancer, early identification is crucial.

For increased survivalDe-intensification of therapyminimizing deformity of the body

Male breast cancer is an uncommon but serious health issue that has to be taken seriously. For men who are afflicted with this illness, knowing the risk factors and the value of early identification may improve results and save lives. Giving men the tools they need to take charge of their breast health and get help if they spot any red flags is crucial.


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