Male breast cancer is rare but just as serious as female breast cancer. Though the condition is much more common in women, men should still be aware of their potential risk of breast cancer.
Male breast cancer can occur at any age, but it’s more common in older men. This can be due to the drop in testosterone production as men get older and the tendency for men to gain weight as they age.
Just like women, men who receive an early diagnosis have a higher chance of being cured completely. Dr. Frank Candela and Dr. David Z. Schreier of Candela and Schreier Medical Corporation encourage you to look out for these signs of male breast cancer and seek treatment as soon as you notice them.
Signs of male breast cancer
The signs of male breast cancer are more or less the same as the signs of female breast cancer. They include:
- A lump in your breast tissue
- Thickening of your breast tissue
- Discharge from one or both of your nipples
- Dimpling, redness, or other changes to the appearance of the skin on your breasts
- Changes to the appearance of your nipple
Causes of male breast cancer
Doctors and researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes or triggers breast cancer in men, but they do know that male breast cancer occurs when some breast cells divide rapidly. Those cells then form a tumor that can spread to other parts of your body, such as your lymph nodes.
Risk factors for male breast cancer include:
- Estrogen exposure
- Family history of breast cancer
- Liver disease
- Klinefelter’s syndrome (extra X chromosome)
- Testicle disorder
All of these risk factors are associated with higher levels of estrogen and/or lower levels of testosterone, which researchers think increases a male’s risk of getting breast cancer.
Additionally, some men inherit mutated genes that increase their risk of breast cancer, such as the BRCA2 gene.
Types of male breast cancer
A few different types of breast cancer may present in men. Those include:
- Ductal carcinoma: Breast cancer that begins in the milk ducts.
- Lobular carcinoma: Breast cancer that begins in the milk-producing glands.
- Other types: These include rare conditions such as Paget's disease of the nipple and inflammatory breast cancer.
Ductal carcinoma is the most common form of breast cancer in men, while lobular carcinoma is rare because men have very few milk-producing glands in their breasts.
Treatment for male breast cancer
Treatment for male breast cancer most often involves surgery to remove your breast tissue. Dr. Schreier and Dr. Candela may recommend other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, based on your particular case of breast cancer.
Even though male breast cancer is less common than for women, it’s still important for men to get check-ups during which they are evaluated for breast cancer. Dr. Schreier and Dr. Candela view prevention as an essential part of every patient’s care.
If you’re located near the West Hills or Thousand Oaks, California, area, call Candela and Schreier Medical Corporation today or request an appointment online to get checked for signs of male breast cancer.