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  • Dr. Pragati Singhal
  • 14 June 2024

When we hear about breast cancer, our minds often jump to the image of women facing this challenging battle. However, it’s essential to remember that breast cancer doesn’t discriminate based on gender. While significantly less common, men can also develop breast cancer. In this blog, we’ll explore the lesser-known but crucial topic of male breast cancer.

Understanding Male Breast Cancer

Incidence and Statistics

Breast cancer in men is rare, accounting for approximately 1% of all breast cancer cases. Despite its rarity, the lifetime risk for men is about 1 in 833. These statistics highlight the need for awareness and understanding that breast cancer is not an exclusively female disease.

Risk Factors

Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer in men:

Family History of Breast Cancer: Men with close female relatives who have had breast cancer are at a higher risk.

Genetic Mutations: Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes significantly increase the risk.

Hormonal Imbalances: Conditions that alter hormone levels, such as Klinefelter syndrome, can contribute to higher risk.

Radiation Exposure: Prior exposure to radiation therapy, especially to the chest, can increase risk.

Obesity: Excess weight can lead to higher estrogen levels, contributing to risk.


Men should be aware of the potential signs of breast cancer:

A Painless Lump or Thickening: Often found in the breast tissue, a lump that doesn’t cause pain should be examined.

Changes in Skin or Nipple: Redness, scaling, or discharge from the nipple can be indicators.

Nipple Inversion: A nipple that turns inward may be a sign of underlying issues.


The diagnostic process for male breast cancer is similar to that for women and includes:

Mammography: An X-ray of the breast to detect abnormalities.

Ultrasound: Uses sound waves to create images of the breast tissue.

Biopsies: Taking a sample of tissue for analysis.

Early detection is key to successful treatment, making awareness of symptoms crucial.

Treatment Options

Treatment for male breast cancer often involves multiple approaches:

Surgery: Options include mastectomy (removal of the breast) or lumpectomy (removal of the tumor).

Radiation Therapy: Uses high-energy rays to target and kill cancer cells.

Chemotherapy and Hormone Therapy: Medications that target cancer cells or alter hormone levels to slow the growth of the cancer.

Targeted Therapies: Drugs designed to target specific characteristics of cancer cells.

Psychological and Emotional Impact

Coping with a breast cancer diagnosis can be particularly challenging for men due to societal stigma and a lack of awareness. Men may feel isolated or embarrassed, making emotional support crucial. Seeking support from friends, family, or support groups can provide much-needed emotional relief and practical advice.

Prevention and Awareness

Prevention and awareness are vital in combating male breast cancer:

Regular Breast Self-Exams: Men should perform regular self-exams to detect any changes early.

Genetic Counseling: Men with a family history of breast cancer should consider genetic counseling to understand their risk.

Increased Awareness: Breaking the stigma and raising awareness can encourage early detection and treatment.

Male breast cancer may be rare, but it’s a reality that affects some men. Raising awareness, understanding the risk factors, and recognizing the importance of early detection are vital steps toward ensuring that men facing this diagnosis receive the support and treatment they need. By breaking the silence surrounding male breast cancer, we can contribute to improved outcomes and better lives for those affected by this disease.

"With Compassion & Expertise, Dr. Pragati Singhal Guiding You Towards Recovery"


Breast Cancer Basics Women's Health Prevention and Wellness Breast Cancer in Men