Can Guys Get Breast Lumps?

Reviewed on 4/23/2021

Like women and girls, guys too can get breast lumps, but it is rare. Men have breast tissue (from birth), but it is not developed like women. Because of the hormonal differences in men and women, the male breast tissue does not develop and produce milk.
Like women and girls, guys too can get breast lumps, but it is rare. Men have breast tissue (from birth), but it is not developed like women. Because of the hormonal differences in men and women, the male breast tissue does not develop and produce milk.

Like women and girls, guys too can get breast lumps, but it is rare. Men have breast tissue (from birth), but it is not developed like women. Because of the hormonal differences in men and women, the male breast tissue does not develop and produce milk.

Breast lumps if found in men are most likely to be benign. Benign implies fairly harmless. Benign conditions can be anyone from the following:

Male breast cancer is a rare type of cancer in men. Only 1 out of 100 patients with breast cancer diagnosed in the United States is a man.

How does a breast cancer lump feel like in men

Men can check the lump in their breasts by themselves and observe the following signs that are typical of cancer:

  • The breast lump feels hard and is painless
  • The breast lump is irregular in shape (has bumps)
  • The breast lump does not move within the breast

Other signs and symptoms that point toward breast cancer include

  • Retracted (turned inward) nipple
  • Redness or soreness around the nipple that does subside within one to two weeks
  • Oozing from the breast nipple (nipple discharge), which may be bloody
  • Small bumps in the armpit (swollen lymph nodes)

What increases men’s risk of breast cancer?

Breast cancer in both genders is caused by mutations in the genes, most commonly the BRCA gene. What causes the mutation remains unknown. However, scientists have identified certain factors that increase the risk of breast cancer

How do doctors diagnose breast cancer in men?

Doctors will take a complete medical history of the man and perform a physical examination of the breast including the armpits. They will first try to look for the benign causes of the breast lump. To confirm their diagnosis, they order tests that include

A biopsy helps doctors reach a definitive diagnosis of breast cancer. It is usually performed after all other tests.

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How are breast lumps treated in men

Doctors will treat breast lumps based on their cause. Most lumps are monitored and may go away on their own without treatment. The treatment involves

  • Antibiotics for a breast infection such as mastitis.
  • Fluid drainage for a breast cyst (if it is large or painful).
  • Surgical removal of the lump.

After the lump is surgically removed, a small piece is sent to the laboratory, and the procedure is known as a biopsy. If the laboratory examination reveals the piece to be of cancer, doctors order additional tests such as breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to find the extent of the tumor. Doctors then stage cancer and initiate the treatment accordingly. Cancer therapies may include

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References
Breast Cancer in Men. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/men/index.htm

Breast Cancer in Men. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer-in-men/

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