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Breast Cancer in Men

Breast cancer is rare in men — in fact, only about one percent of all cases of breast cancer in the U.S. occur in men. But it does happen. Here are some facts to increase your awareness of breast cancer in men.

Many people think of breast cancer as a women’s health issue, but it can also occur in men.

Factors that increase the risk of breast cancer in men include:

  • Klinefelter's syndrome. This is a genetic condition related to high levels of estrogen in the body.
  • Exposure to estrogen. If you take estrogen-related drugs (sometimes used for prostate cancer).
  • Family history. If you have a close family member with breast cancer, you have a greater chance of developing it.
  • Getting older. Breast cancer is most common in men ages 60 to 70, although it can occur at any age.
  • Radiation. If you've received radiation treatments to your chest, such as those used to treat cancers, you’re more likely to develop breast cancer later in life.
  • Obesity. Fat cells convert testosterone into estrogen, increasing your risk of breast cancer.
  • Chronic liver disorders.
  • Heavy alcohol use.

Symptoms
Any change in the breast, chest area, or nipple should be taken seriously.

  • Lump, hard knot, or thickening in the breast
  • Puckering or redness of the skin of the breast
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Nipple discharge

When to see a doctor
Early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in men is associated with better outcomes. Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you.

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