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Information & Support

What you need to know:

Symptoms, Risk Factors, Self Check, Diagnosis, Genetics, Hormones & more.

Male Breast Cancer Guide

Even if the percentage of men diagnosed with male breast cancer is small, it is often more fatal for a large percentage of the men diagnosed. Since most men don't know to look for it, the disease is usually found after it has progressed to a more dangerous level.

The Male Breast Cancer Guide
The Male Breast Cancer Guide

The Facts

Male breast cancer accounts for about 1% of all breast cancers. Although rare, it is often detected later and may cause the cancer to become further progressed and more fatal. Breast cancer in men has the same causes as for women, higher levels of estrogen, family history, genetics, lifestyle or other exposures. Genetics and the mutation of specific genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase the risk. Symptoms of breast cancer in men can be a change or inversion to the nipple, dimpling of the skin, redness, itching of the nipple as well as any type of discharge from the nipple. Breast cancer that has metastasized (spread) to the bones may also produce bone pain at the sites and like other cancers symptoms can include weight loss and weakness.

Who’s checking

Most men are not being checked for early detection and possibly by the time it is diagnosed, it is found in other areas or organs.


Many men do not feel comfortable speaking about a breast cancer diagnosis since this disease is usually associated with women, daughters and pink ribbons.

The number

There are approximately 2,600 men diagnosed with this disease each year, however, more often men will die from this disease due to a late diagnosis compared to women.

Male or female

It's important to seek medical advice when symptoms are present or there is an increased risk. Surveillance for early detection and an earlier diagnosis can help save lives.

Be Informed

Male breast cancer nipple symptoms



Symptoms of breast cancer for men are no different than they are for women. What is different is men need to be aware they can be diagnosed with breast cancer and know any symptoms, needs to be checked. Soreness of breast or lumps and bumps may not be just because of a hard workout in the gym or other heavy lifting, etc. Other symptoms may include a lump or swelling under the arm in the lymph node area as well as the collar bone. A common cause and diagnosis for men with these symptoms can be gynecomastia which is an enlargement of breast tissue and is not related to cancer.

Male breast cancer risk factors


Risk Factors

In the United States, the average man's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer stands at a seemingly modest 0.1%. However, when diving deeper into genetics, the picture becomes more complex. Men with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations face significantly elevated risks. Specifically, those with BRCA1 mutations have a 1-5% risk, while BRCA2 mutations push the risk to a notable 5-10%. Beyond the realm of genetics, there's a plethora of factors shaping one's vulnerability. From tracing family history to understanding personal lifestyle choices, from evaluating dietary habits to gauging stress levels and physical health — every facet plays a role. It's a multifaceted puzzle, where every piece, be it weight management or exercise routines, warrants due consideration.

Male breast cancer self check



Since mammograms and ultrasounds are not commonly prescribed for men, it becomes crucial for a male to learn how to perform a self-examination check for breast cancer. Just like females, males must first become familiar with the normal appearance and feel of their breasts to notice any changes. Understanding the texture, size, and any irregularities allows for early detection of potential problems. Regular self-examination can be a lifesaving practice, enabling prompt medical intervention if any abnormality is discovered. Consult with a healthcare provider to understand the proper technique for this critical aspect of men's health.



Male breast cancer diagnosis

Whether you detect a lump on your own or from another test method, further testing will be needed for diagnosis. Often all of the symptoms or testing modalities are used leading up to a diagnosis. In addition a biopsy may also be required. There are several ways this can be performed. Your doctor may elect to choose one of the following methods; Breast Cyst Aspiration, Stereotactic Biopsy, Needle/Wire Guided and/or UltraSound guided biopsy. Once a diagnosis has been made from a biopsy the next step(s) will be determined by the information received.

Male breast cancer genetics brca



Genetics plays a crucial role in determining an individual's predisposition to various diseases, including cancer. There's a scientifically proven association between certain genetic mutations and heightened cancer risk. However, possessing a risk gene does not necessarily mean a surefire development of cancer. Being informed about one's family history, recognizing potential risk genes, and seeking genetic counseling can be invaluable. Early knowledge and monitoring offer the advantage of timely interventions and prevention strategies. It's essential to remember that genetic mutations aren't exclusive to one's maternal side. They can be inherited from either the mother or father and passed on to both sons and daughters.

Male breast cancer hormones estrogen



Breast cancer's relationship with hormones is intricate and significant. Notably, elevated levels of estrogen—a hormone present in both men and women—can amplify the risk of this cancer. While estrogen's role in women's reproductive health is well-known, its presence in men, although in smaller quantities, can still be consequential in terms of cancer risk. The influence of hormones doesn't stop at inception; they can also affect the growth and progression of breast tumors. When medical professionals conduct a biopsy to diagnose breast cancer, they often assess the cancer's responsiveness to hormones like Estrogen and Progesterone. These findings, which classify tumors as hormone-receptor positive or negative, significantly influence treatment strategies post-surgery. The hormonal status of a tumor can guide the selection of targeted therapies and predict potential outcomes.

Male breast cancer transgender information



Although everyone has a risk of developing cancer in their lifetime, not everyone has access to supportive and informed healthcare. Many transgender people face discrimination in healthcare settings that causes trans patients to feel unwelcome to or fearful of medical care. Beyond the lack of gender-affirming care, there are often overlooked or misconceived factors regarding transgender cancer risk. We hope to provide some useful information for the transgender community to better understand their risk of cancer, specifically of the breast. Regardless of gender identity and genetic predisposition, anyone with breast tissue is at risk for breast cancer.​

Male breast cancer and young adults


Young Adults

Often, young adults feel invincible, pushing concerns about health risks to the background. But when is the right age to truly ponder one's health and its vulnerabilities? The answer is: the sooner, the better. Understanding your family's medical history is paramount, as it provides insights into potential inherited risks. It's especially crucial if there's a history of genetic mutations in your family lineage. Such mutations can substantially elevate your health risks. For instance, a genetic mutation linked to certain cancers or diseases can be passed down through generations. Both mothers and fathers can be carriers, potentially passing these risks to their children. Being informed early can guide preventive measures and proactive health choices.

Male breast cancer wellbeing and prevention



What can I do? Though mortality is a universal truth, the quality of our lives largely depends on the choices we make daily. So, what proactive measures can one adopt? We have the power to make informed decisions, impacting our longevity and well-being. From mindful eating habits, selecting nutritious foods, to maintaining a balanced diet, each choice plays a role. Incorporating regular exercise, even if it's just a daily walk, can vastly improve physical health. Additionally, managing stress through mindfulness practices, hobbies, or therapy is equally crucial. While the following will offer various suggestions, always remember: everyone's journey is unique, and individuals must discern what best aligns with their lifestyle and values.

 Medical Research

 Wellness Support

 Support Groups

 Media & Education

Support Resources

Paragraph about the types of support resources you can access such as books, movies, websites, tools, podcasts, and support groups.

Support Resources

We've curated some of our favorite cancer support resources with links to medical research, support groups, insightful content, and more.

Male breast cancer medical research

  Medical Research

Male breast cancer wellness support

  Wellness Support

Male breast cancer support groups

  Support Groups

Male breast cancer media and education resources

  Media & Education

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