Men have breast tissue, which means they can get breast cancer like women.
Even though men do not have breasts like women, they do have a small amount of breast tissue. The breasts of an adult man are similar to the breasts of a girl before puberty. In girls, this tissue grows and develops, but in men, it doesn’t.
Breast cancer in men is rare and less than 1% of all breast cancer occurs in men. The chance of a man getting cancer goes up with age. Risk factors for breast cancer includes breast cancer in a close female relative, history of radiation exposure, enlargement of breasts (gynecomastia) from drug or hormone treatments, taking estrogen, a rare genetic condition called Klinefelter’s syndrome, severe liver disease (cirrhosis) and diseases of the testicles such as mumps orchitis, a testicular injury, or an undescended testicle.
Symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those in women. The major problem is that breast cancer in men is often diagnosed later than breast cancer in women. This may be because men are less likely to be suspicious of something strange in that area. Most male breast cancers are diagnosed when a man discovers a lump on his chest. But unlike women, men tend to delay going to the doctor until they have more severe symptoms, like bleeding from the nipple, at that point, cancer may have already spread.
Also, their small amount of breast tissue is harder to feel, making it harder to catch these cancers early. It also means tumors can spread more quickly to surroundings tissues.
The same techniques that are used to diagnose breast cancer in women are used in men such as physical exams, mammography and biopsies.
Likewise, the same treatments that are used in treating breast cancer in women surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy and hormone therapy are also used to treat breast cancer in men. The one major difference is that men with breast cancer respond much better to hormone therapy than women do. About 90% 0f male breast cancers have hormone receptors, meaning that hormone therapy can work in most men to treat cancer.