Male breast cancer is a form of cancer occurring in the breast tissue of men. It is a common notion that breast cancer is a disease which affects women only, but it can also affect men.
Male breast cancer can occur at any age but it is more common in the older age group. If male patients are diagnosed at an early stage with male breast cancer, they have a better prognosis.
Treatment modalities can be chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery to remove the invading or the whole breast tissue as per the condition of the patient.
It is an increase in the amount of breast tissue in men. Gynecomastia appears like a button or disk-shaped growth under the nipple and/or areola which can be seen and/or felt. Gynecomastia is common during the teenage period due to hormonal changes in the adolescence growth phase. Similar hormonal changes can be seen during the old age period and hence seen in older men too. Gynecomastia can occur due to tumours or diseases of endocrine glands causing the man's body to produce more oestrogen which is a feminising hormone which is generally present in low levels. Liver diseases and obesity can also give a rise to this condition. Few medicines can also cause gynecomastia e.g. drugs used to treat heartburn and ulcers, heart failure, high blood pressure and psychiatric conditions.
Klinefelter syndrome is a genetic condition that can also lead to gynecomastia along with a higher risk for the development of male breast cancer.
Benign breast tumors
Types of benign breast tumours are papillomas and fibroadenomas. Benign tumours are not fatal.
The most common types of male breast cancer are the same kinds which are found in women—
The invasive cells begin to proliferate in the ducts and then spread outside the ducts into other parts of the breast and can even metastasize.
Cancer cells proliferate in the lobules and then spread from the lobules to the breast and nearby. They possess the power to metastasize.
It is a breast disease which leads to invasive breast cancer. The cancer cells are present only in the ductal walls.
It starts in the breast ducts and goes to the nipple and/or areola. The skin of the nipple becomes crusted, red and scaly with eczema, burning, oozing or bleeding. An underlying breast lump might also be present. Paget disease can lead to infiltrating ductal carcinoma or DCIS.
Signs and symptoms of male breast cancer include as follows :
Tests used to detect the stage of the breast cancer:
One can start by seeing the family doctor if any unusual signs or symptoms are noticed. If the doctor suspects breast cancer, one might be referred to an oncologist. A few points below can be said/asked by the patient :
To determine treatment options, the doctor has to consider the cancer's stage, overall health condition and patient’s preferences.
Male breast cancer treatment might involve surgery or a combination of treatment modalities.
The goal of surgery is to remove the tumour and surrounding breast tissue if invaded. The procedures include:
It involves the use of high-energy beams like X-rays and protons to destroy cancer cells. In a male breast cancer patient, radiation therapy can be used after surgery to eliminate any remnant of the cancer cells in the breast, armpit or chest muscles.
Hormone therapy for male breast cancer often uses a medicine named Tamoxifen.
Chemotherapy uses medications to destroy cancer cells. These medications can be administered intravenously or orally or by both methods as and when required.
A patient receiving a cancer diagnosis needs to be handled with care. A few points can be kept in mind to help in coping with the situation.
If you are facing any similar signs or symptoms please contact the Nanavati Max team to schedule an appointment at : +91 22 6836 0000