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Male Breast Cancer


t’s rare, but men have breast tissue and can have breast cancer. Like breast cancer in
women, early diagnosis plays a significant role in a good outcome. and like the disease in
women, treatment generally includes surgery to remove the affected tissue, chemotherapy
and radiation therapy.

the Mayo clinic reports
that science is still unclear
on the causes of male breast
cancer. We do know that
everyone of all genders is
born with some breast tissue, which consists of milkproducing glands known as
lobules, ducts that move
milk to the nipples, and fat.
at puberty, women develop
more breast tissue; men do
not, but they retain what
they were born with.
there is evidence that a
family history of breast cancer can make men more likely to get the disease. gene
mutations, particularly in
BRCA2, increase a man’s
risk of both breast and prostate cancer. other risk factors are older age; exposure
to estrogen; a genetic syndrome known as
Klinefelter’s syndrome, in
which boys are born with
more than one copy of the X
chromosome; liver and testicular disease; and obesity.
Lobular carcinoma, which is
cancer that starts in the
milk-producing glands, is
there are several types of rare, since men have very
male breast cancer, accordfew milk-producing glands.
ing to the Mayo clinic.
other types of male breast
cancer that begins in the
cancer are Paget’s disease,
milk ducts, or ductal carciwhich affects the nipple, and
noma, is the most common
inflammatory breast cancer.
type of male breast cancer.

anD tReatMent

the breast.
Diagnosis and treatment
Symptoms of breast cancer for male breast cancer
includes clinical breast
in men may include a painexams, imaging tests that
less lump or thickening in
the breast tissue, nipple dis- allow the doctor to identify
problem areas and abnorcharge or changes to the
nipple, such as redness, scal- malities or a biopsy, when a
doctor extracts tissue from
ing or turning inward, or
changes to the skin covering the suspicious area to test if

it’s cancer. Because male
breast cancer is often hormone-related, hormone therapy may be part of a treatment regimen; surgical treatment could include a full
mastectomy or removal of a
few lymph nodes that would
be the most likely place for
cancer to spread.

Breast Cancer


hile most breast cancers are
treatable, it may come back.
according to the Mayo clinic, recurrent
breast cancer, which happens when not
all cancer cells go undetected during
treatment and remain in the body, may
It may come back in the same
place or may appear in other parts
occur months or even years after you
of the body; where it recurs also
have initially been treated.
affects the symptoms a patient

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LocaL RecuRRence

When the cancer reappears in the same place
as your original cancer, this is known as a local
recurrence. Women who had a lumpectomy could
have a recurrence in the remaining breast tissue;
women who had a mastectomy could experience
a local recurrence in the tissue lining the wall of
the chest or in the skin surrounding the breast.
Symptoms of local recurrence of cancer could
include a new lump or irregularly firm area,
changes to the skin on or around the breast, skin
inflammation, or redness or nipple discharge.
Symptoms of cancer on the chest wall include
painless nodules on or under the skin and unusual thickening near the mastectomy scar.

RegIonaL oR DIStant


When cancer returns to the lymph nodes near
the chest, this is regional breast cancer occurrence. Possible symptoms include lumps or swelling in the nodes in the underarm or collarbone
area, in the groove above the collarbone or in the
Distant or metastatic recurrence means the
cancer has moved to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of this type of recurrence include persistent or worsening chest or bone pain, a persistent cough, lack of appetite, weight loss, headaches, seizures or difficulty breathing.

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there is no way to say with certainty whether
cancer will come back. However, there are features of the initial cancer diagnosis that are seen
in greater frequency when cancer recurs. they
• Cancer cells in lymph nodes at the time of
the original diagnosis.
• Larger tumor size.
• Lack of radiation treatment after a lumpectomy.
• Younger age.
• Inflammatory breast cancer.
• Initial cancer that didn’t respond to hormone therapy or treatments directed to the triple
negative breast cancer.
• Positive tumor margins.

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