Male Breast Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Types and Diagnosis

Check Male symptoms, causes, types and diagnosis. Male breast cases are only about 1% of all breast cancers. Most of the male breast cancer are infiltrating ductal carcinoma. Most common male breast cancer symptom is lump beneath the nipple.

Breast cancer in men is the same disease as that which affects women. Both men and women have breast tissue, although men have less breast tissue than women. Most of the breast tissue in men is located behind the nipple.

Male breast cancer can be early or advanced at diagnosis. Early breast cancer is cancer that is contained in the breast and may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes in the breast or armpit.

Male Ductal Carcinoma is the most common breast cancer found in men. This cancer typically presents as a lump. However there are other symptoms that men should be aware of.

It may come as a surprise to most men to learn that they can develop breast cancer. While breast cancer is uncommon in men, it’s important for men who fnd a change in their breasts not to let embarrassment or uncertainty prevent them from seeing their doctor without delay. Early detection and treatment are the best way to survive the disease.

Male Breast Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Types, Stages

Male Breast Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Types, Diagnosis

Please find below the Male Breast , causes, diagnosis and types in details:

Male Breast Cancer Symptoms and Signs?

The most common sign of breast cancer in men is a firm, nonpainful mass located just under the nipple. There may not be other associated symptoms. The average size of breast cancer in men when first discovered is about 2.5 cm in diameter.

Male Breast Cancer causes skin changes in the area of the nipple. These changes can include ulceration of the skin; skin puckering or dimpling; redness, scaling, or itching of the nipple; or retraction (turning inward) of the nipple. Bloody or opaque discharge from the nipple may also occur. Less than 1% of cases are bilateral (occurring on both sides).

Male Breast Cancer Symptoms and Signs

Breast cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the bones may also produce bone pain at the sites of metastases. Advanced breast cancer can also produce symptoms typical of many cancers, including malaise, weakness, and weight loss. Breast cancer in men can spread to many other organs and cause other symptoms as well.

Male Breast Cancer Types

Following are the most common types of Male Breast Cancer clinically found in men:

  1. Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

    In DCIS (also known as intraductal carcinoma), cancer cells form in the breast ducts but do not grow through the walls of the ducts into the fatty tissue of the breast or spread outside the breast. DCIS accounts for about 1 in 10 cases of breast cancer in men. It is almost always curable with surgery.

  2. Infiltrating (invasive) Ductal carcinoma (IDC)

    This type of breast cancer breaks through the wall of the duct and grows through the fatty tissue of the breast. At this point, it can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. At least 8 out of 10 male breast cancers are IDCs (alone or mixed with other types of invasive or in situ breast cancer). Because the male breast is much smaller than the female breast, all male breast cancers start relatively close to the nipple, so they are more likely to spread to the nipple. This is different from Paget disease as described below.

  3. Infiltrating (invasive) Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)

    This type of breast cancer starts in the breast lobules (collections of cells that, in women, produce breast milk) and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast. ILC is very rare in men, accounting for only about 2% of male breast cancers. This is because men do not usually have much lobular tissue.

  4. Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS)

    In LCIS, abnormal cells form in the lobules, but they do not grow into the fatty tissue of the breast or spread outside the breast. Although LCIS is sometimes grouped with DCIS as a type of non-invasive breast cancer, most breast specialists think it is a risk factor for developing breast cancer rather than a true non-invasive cancer. As with invasive lobular carcinoma, LCIS is very rare in men.

  5. Paget Disease of Nipple in Men

    This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the nipple. It may also spread to the areola (the dark circle around the nipple). The skin of the nipple usually appears crusted, scaly, and red, with areas of itching, oozing, burning, or bleeding. The fingertips can be used to detect a possible lump within the breast.

    Paget disease may be associated with DCIS or with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It accounts for about 1% of female breast cancers and a higher percentage of male breast cancers.

  6. Inflammatory Breast Cancer in Men

    Inflammatory breast cancer is an aggressive, but rare type of breast cancer. It causes the breast to be swollen, red, warm and tender rather than forming a lump. It can be mistaken for an infection of the breast. This is very rare in men.

Breast Cancer Causes in Men

It is not possible to say exactly what causes breast cancer in men. However, research has shown that there are some things that increase a man’s chance of developing breast cancer. These are called ‘risk factors’.

Common Male Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Old Age is a common risk factor for male breast cancer. Breast cancer in men occurs more commonly in those aged 50 years and older. Genetics is another male breast cancer risk factor. Hereditary breast cancer makes up about 5% to 10% of all breast cancer. Some mutated genes related to breast cancer are more common in certain ethnic groups. Men who have a mutated gene related to breast cancer have an increased risk of this disease.

However, most men who develop breast cancer do not have a strong family history of the disease. If you are concerned about your risk based on family history see your GP.

Uncommon Breast Cancer Risk Factors in Men

  • High Estrogen level (Hyperestrogenism)
  • Klinefelter’s syndrome
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Testicular disorders
  • Radiation exposure
  • Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) usage

Male Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Diagnosis for breast cancer in men is done through the following methods:

  1. Breast Examination and studying the personal history
  2. Radiology Imaging Tests i.e. mammography and/or ultrasound
  3. Biopsy: in non-surgical biopsy for breast cancer diagnosis through fine needle or core biopsy.

Clinical breast exam for breast cancer diagnosis involves checking both breasts and feeling the lymph nodes under the armpits. Imaging tests involve an X-ray of the breast, called a mammogram, or a scan that uses sound waves to produce an image of the breast, called an ultrasound.

If the imaging test shows an abnormal area, you may have a biopsy. This involves taking a sample of cells or tissue from the breast and examining them under a microscope.

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