Can men get breast cancer?
Men are typically at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer, but can they get breast cancer? Yes, men can get breast cancer and it’s important to know the symptoms so you can make sure you’re looking after yourself. Breast cancer is not just a woman’s problem and with early detection, it could save your life.
Since many people still mistakenly believe that men cannot get breast cancer, this blog post will provide general information about what causes male breast cancer as well as some common symptoms to watch out for.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer in men?
The most common symptoms of breast cancer in men are often easily confused with other conditions and sometimes not noticeable at all. These include
- Flaky skin,
- Irritation or dimpling on the breasts
- A lump or swelling that can be detected through the touch
- Nipple discharge (where there is fluid coming from either one side or both nipples);
- Pain during the use of the arm if it comes up to your chest area.
Where does breast cancer start in men?
Everyone is born with a small amount of breast tissue. Breast tissue consists of milk-producing glands (lobules), ducts that carry milk to the nipples, and fat.
During puberty, women begin developing more breast tissue, but men don’t because they are also born with some pre-existing “breast” tissues in their bodies already which can lead them into developing cancer as well!
There are many types of breast cancer that can occur in men. In fact, about 1% to 2% of all cancers diagnosed among males each year are breast cancer! The good news is that this type has a high survival rate when treated and detected early enough; however, it does have the tendency to metastasize more than other forms because there’s less tissue between skin cells making it easier for cells from elsewhere on your body or even another person (such as an organ donor) to enter into the area undetected.
Types of breast cancer diagnosed in men include:
- Invasive ductal carcinoma, which is the most common type for both sexes. It typically occurs near or on milk glands and may spread to lymph nodes close by.
- Lobular carcinoma does not usually occur until later stages because it develops from cells that produce only small amounts of estrogen during puberty (when women experience their first menstrual cycle). As a result, lobular cancers are more likely to be ER-negative than other types.
- Other types of cancer. Other, rarer types that can occur in men include Paget’s disease and inflammatory breast cancer.
As you grow older, your risk for breast cancer also increases. The number of men aged 60+ who develop male breast cancer is higher than that of women in the same age group.
Exposure to estrogen can lead to increased risks as well if it comes from hormone therapy drugs used for prostate cancers or other related treatments which stimulate the production and release of hormones like estrogen into a person’s system – such as those taken by transgendered people.
In many cases, breast cancer is passed down from generation to generation. For those who have a close family member with the disease, you may be at an increased risk of developing it yourself.
Men with Klinefelter’s syndrome produce lower levels of certain male hormones and more female hormones. This genetic condition is when boys are born with two copies of the X chromosome, which affects their development process in many different areas including genitalia.
Liver disease can be a silent killer, but it’s not just the cancer risk that you should worry about. Some conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver reduce male hormones and increase female hormones which significantly increases your chances of developing breast cancer.
When you’re obese, your body produces higher levels of estrogen. Higher levels may increase the risk for male breast cancer in men!
An inflamed testicle (orchitis) or surgery to remove a testicle (orchiectomy) can increase your risk of male breast cancer.
Men can develop breast cancer, but it is much rarer than in women. There are many different types of treatment for men with breast cancer, and these treatments depend on the type of tumor and whether or not it has spread to other parts of the body. Diagnosing male breast cancer early can help save your life! Learn about some common signs you should be aware of here. If you notice any symptoms, contact your doctor immediately so they can diagnose and treat you as soon as possible.