Both males and females are born with breast tissue. During puberty, female hormones cause girls' breast tissue to grow into functional breasts, but male hormones suppress breast growth in boys.
Because men have less breast tissue and because that tissue is not as exposed to the growth-promoting properties of female hormones, men seldom develop breast cancer.
Approximately 10 men in a million develop breast cancer. Any cell, however, is capable of undergoing cancerous changes.
Men are subject to the same types of breast cancer as women, including:
Anybody can develop breast cancer, but certain factors may increase your risk, including:
Because breast cancer in men is rare, many men and their doctors do not suspect breast cancer until the cancer is at an advanced stage.
Men often see their doctors not because of a lump, but because of:
Talk to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
Experts at the Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Program use a variety of tests and procedures to diagnose and screen for breast cancer, including:
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Mammogram with computer-aided detection (CAD)
3D mammogram (tomosynthesis)
Minimally invasive breast biopsy
If you're a man who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, treatment will depend on your general health and the results of your tests.
Your doctors and other specialists at the Breast Cancer Program will work with you to consider your options and determine a course of action.
Surgery is often the primary treatment for breast cancer.
In many cases, we may also recommend additional therapies before (neo adjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery to control an aggressive cancer or to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Procedures and treatments for breast cancer may include:
If any of your close female relatives have been diagnosed with breast cancer, ask your doctor or nurse about your risk factors and learn how to perform a breast exam on yourself.
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