Home Article What causes Male Breast Cancer? Learn its Signs and method of treatment

What causes Male Breast Cancer? Learn its Signs and method of treatment

Updated On 15 Jun, 2017 Published On 15 Jun, 2017
What causes Male Breast Cancer? Learn its Signs and method of treatment

Male Breast Cancer is often rare but is should not be neglected. Though it is usually difficult to diagnose, every individual should be very sensitive to the symptoms and causative agents.

Just like females, males also sometimes face some critical issue in their breast. The breast of an adult man is same as that of a woman until puberty. The tissue of breast grows and it gets enlarged in the case of female whereas, in men, it doesn't happen.

The chances of breast cancer in male grows along with the age. It is actually rare till the age 35 with simultaneous increase of the probable chances.

Doctors say that the disease in a male is more severe than female since it is diagnosed later in case of the male.

What is Male Breast Cancer and its Causative Agents?      

Male breast cancer is relatively a rare type of cancer occurring in the male that initiates in the breast. Though it usually develops at the old age, it may prevail in an individual within the age of 5 to 93.

About 2,140 new cases are regularly diagnosed every year in the United States and among them, at least 11oo to 1500 men die every year.

Source: My VNC

Here, the impressive fact related to the cause is the 5-year survival rate in the early stage diagnosis and it is 100% percent.

Here are some facts you need to know:

  • A rare form of Cancer.
  • Mutated genes are the primary causative agent.
  • A lump in the breast is observed.
  • 1 out of 5 men who develop breast cancer has a first-degree male relative like father or brother who had breast cancer in past.

Source: Zip Heal

Causative agents of male breast cancer?

It is almost very difficult to certain the actual reason of cells to become the cancerous one. However, here are some of the prime risk factors involved with the cause:

Mutation of genes

The BRAC2 mutation is diagnosed in an estimated level of 5% of men suffering from the breast cancer.

Source: Slide Player

Klinefelter's Syndrome

A person with high level of estrogen hormone by birth is prone to the disease. It is a major risk factor among male as men with such condition are 20 times more likely to develop the breast cancer.

Estrogen Receptors

9 out of 10 breast cancers in men have estrogen receptors on their cell membrane. Estrogen receptors actually perform an activity to bind to the cancerous cells. This activity triggers the cell growth and multiplication.

Here is a report on male breast cancer by Mayo Clinic: 

Exposure to harmful radiation on the chest, severe liver disease, diseases of the testicles such as mumps orchitis, a testicular injury, physical inactivity, Cowden syndrome, and family history also comes under the causative agents of male breast cancer.

We are here with a true story of a famous American actor Richard Roundtree. He was diagnosed with cancer in the year 1993; one of those who has noted their name in 1% (male breast cancer) list.

Richard Roundtree Revealed About his Breast Cancer

He expressed that breast cancer actually doesn't discriminate. Richard, most commonly known as the World's beloved Shaft, was detected with the disease in the year 1993.

His story in his own words,

'I'm blessed because I'm somewhat of a hypochondriac, and while I was taking a shower in Costa Rica I felt this lump. I knew it wasn't ordinary, so I finished work about a week later and had my doctor check it out.'

Roundtree kept his mouth shut during his diagnosis and treatment and later came into the public as a cancer survivor.

He said,

"I was in the closet, so to speak, until after the fifth year when I was cancer free. I don't know if it's a racial thing or not, but it's hard for the Roundtrees to talk about health issues. People have to get over all that stuff."

He is living a happy life these days and has an excellent comeback in his career.


The most common signal of breast cancer is the appearance of a lump in the breast. The lump so appeared is painful whereas in most cases it is painless. And that's the reason why male becomes unaware of their disease.

Source: My VMC

Affecting the nipple is less common but it is the crucial one. Such symptom commonly includes nipple retraction, ulceration, and discharge. 

In the severe condition, cancer may spread to the vital organs showing some additional symptoms like breast pain, bone pain, and swelling of lymph nodes around the breast.

Diagnosis and Treatment 

Usually, self-examination with an appearance of a lump on the breast can be done. Further investigation should be forwarded.

Biopsy, ultrasound, and mammography can be used for further examination.

Source: Slate

Here are some of the treatment options that can be considered:

1. Surgery

It is the primary treatment option involving an operation called a modified radical mastectomy. The entire breast and the lymph nodes are removed during surgical procedures.

Source: Medical News Today

2. Estrogen hormone therapy

The presence of estrogen receptors helps the binding mechanism of estrogen to the cancer cells. Hence, the hormone therapy blocks the receptors and slows the growth.

Source: River Pharmacy

Tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors are used in the process.

3. Chemotherapy

Hormone therapy is often useless if there are no estrogen receptors hence, chemotherapy is used in such case. It is usually given after surgical procedure as a target to prevent cancer returning.

Important Preventive Measures

Early detection can prevent the adverse effect and further spread of cancer.

Source: Natures Gist

If a male member of the family is already the victim of breast cancer, a person should have a regular observation of lumps and visit doctors as soon as possible.

One should be very sensitive regarding alcohol abuse, and exposure to harmful radiations.

In general, adopting a healthy lifestyle is a good way to prevent cancer, including many other serious health issues.

Related Article:

Breast cancer; A rising health problem in women. Know the causes and treatments

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