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Both males and females are born with breast tissue. During puberty, female hormones cause girls' breast tissue to grow into functional breasts, but male hormones suppress breast growth in boys.
Because men have less breast tissue and because that tissue is not as exposed to the growth-promoting properties of female hormones, men seldom develop breast cancer.
Approximately 10 men in a million develop breast cancer. Any cell, however, is capable of undergoing cancerous changes.
Men are subject to the same types of breast cancer as women, including:
Anybody can develop breast cancer, but certain factors may increase your risk, including:
Because breast cancer in men is rare, many men and their doctors do not suspect breast cancer until the cancer is at an advanced stage.
Men often see their doctors not because of a lump, but because of:
Talk to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
Experts at the Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Program use a variety of tests and procedures to diagnose and screen for breast cancer, including:
If you're a man who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, treatment will depend on your general health and the results of your tests.
Your doctors and other specialists at the Breast Cancer Program will work with you to consider your options and determine a course of action.
In many cases, we may also recommend additional therapies before (neo adjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery to control an aggressive cancer or to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Procedures and treatments for breast cancer may include:
||The surgical removal of part of the breast with a cancerous tumor (lumpectomy), breast tissue, or the entire breast. In some cases, lymph nodes are also removed. In rare cases, some of the chest muscles are removed as well.|
|Sentinel lymph node biopsy
||A minimally invasive procedure to remove lymph node tissue in the armpit to check if existing breast cancer is spreading (metastasizing). Women diagnosed with an invasive breast cancer typically undergo a sentinel lymph node biopsy.|
|Axillary lymph node dissection
||Surgery to remove all or a group of lymph nodes in the underarm (axilla), if your sentinel lymph node biopsy is positive for cancer.|
|Additional Breast Cancer Therapies|
||The administration of drugs to destroy the growth abilities of cancer cells. It is sometimes used with radiation therapy.|
||The use of beams of high-energy waves of ion particles to destroy the growth abilities of cancer cells. External radiation therapy directs rays at the tumor from outside a person's body.|
||The use of drugs that stop the production of certain hormones that the cancer needs to grow.|