April 24, 2017
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Male Breast Cancer

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Male breast cancer facts

  • Male breast cancer is rare and accounts for only about 1% of all breast cancers.
  • Breast cancer risk in men is increased by elevated levels of estrogen, previous radiation exposure, and a family history of breast cancer.
  • Mutations in specific genes including BRCA1 and BRCA2 are associated with an increase in risk for breast cancer in men.
  • Infiltrating ductal carcinoma is the most common type of male breast cancer.
  • A lump beneath the nipple is the most common clinical symptom of male breast cancer.
  • Male breast cancer is staged (reflecting the extent of tumor spread) identically to breast cancer in women.
  • Surgery is the most common initial treatment for male breast cancer. Depending on the situation, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy are also considered as part of the care plan. Clinical trials may also be available for men with breast cancer.
  • The prognosis of male breast cancer, like breast cancer in women, is predominantly influenced by tumor stage.
  • The prognosis for early-stage breast cancer in men is favorable, with five-year survival rates of 100% for stage 0 and stage 1 tumors.

What is male breast cancer?

Men possess a small amount of nonfunctioning breast tissue (breast tissue that cannot produce milk) that is concentrated in the area directly behind the nipple on the chest wall. Like breast cancer in women, cancer of the male breast is the uncontrolled growth with the potential for spread of some of the cells of this breast tissue. These cells become so abnormal in appearance and behavior that they are then called cancer cells.

Breast tissue in healthy young boys and girls consists of tubular structures known as ducts. At puberty, a girl's ovaries produce female hormones (estrogen) that cause the ducts to grow and milk glands (lobules) to develop at the ends of the ducts. The amount of fat and connective tissue in the breast also increases as girls go through puberty. On the other hand, male hormones (such as testosterone) secreted by the testes suppress the growth of breast tissue and the development of lobules. The male breast, therefore, is made up of predominantly small, undeveloped ducts and a small amount of fat and connective tissue.

How common is male breast cancer?

Male breast cancer is a rare medical condition, accounting for only about 1% of all breast cancers. Statistics from the American Cancer Society suggest that yearly, about 2,600 new cases of breast cancer in men are diagnosed and that breast cancer causes approximately 440 deaths in men (in comparison, almost 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year). Breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than in men. Most cases of male breast cancer are detected in men between the ages of 60 and 70, although the condition can develop in men of any age. A man's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about 1/10 of 1%, or one in 1,000. Breast cancer incidence rates in men have remained fairly stable over the past 30 years.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/22/2017

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/male_breast_cancer/article.htm

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