Male Breast Cancer

An uncommon but important awareness.

Men Can and Do Get Breast Cancer

Yes, breast cancer overwhelmingly affects women, but men also have breast tissue and are at risk of developing breast cancer. In the United States, less than 1% of all breast cancers occur in men.

  • In 2023, an estimated 2,800 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

  • It is estimated that 530 men will die from this disease in the United States in 2023.

  • About one in 833 men will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

What increases a man’s chance of developing breast cancer?

  • Men who have an inherited mutation like BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 can increase breast cancer risk.
  • The risk for male breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers are found in men over the age of 50.
  • Men who have had radiation therapy to the chest wall have an increased risk for breast cancer.
  • Men who have a strong family history of breast cancer are at increased risk.
  • Having increased levels of estrogen an increase a man’s risk for breast cancer ( i.e. medications such as hormone therapy or having Klinefelter’s Syndrome (genetic condition in which a male has an extra X chromosome. This can lead to the body making higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of androgens (hormones that help develop and maintain male sex characteristics).
  • Obesity also can increase the risk of male breast cancer.
  • Liver disease such as cirrhosis can lower androgen levels and raise estrogen levels in men.

Signs and symptoms of male breast cancer can include:

  • A painless lump or swelling of the breast.
  • Irritation or thickening of the skin of the breast.
  • Scaly, flaky nipple
    Changes to your nipple, such as redness or scaling, or a nipple that begins to turn inward.
  • Discharge from the nipple.
  • Retraction of the nipple (pulling inward of skin)

Diagnosis and Treatment

  • Medical history and physical exam.
  • Diagnostic mammogram.
  • Breast Ultrasound.
  • Breast Biopsy for suspicious findings.
    o Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)
    o Core Needle Biopsy (CNB)


Yes, men can and do get breast cancer, although it is much less common than in women.

Male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of all breast cancers. About 2,800 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2023.

Breast cancer in a male is diagnosed the exact same way it is diagnosed in a woman. A male will need a physical exam, mammogram, and possibly and ultrasound of the breast. If a suspicious mass is found, a needle biopsy will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

The surgical treatment of breast cancer is the same for men as it is for women.

Side effects vary depending on the treatment but can include fatigue, hair loss, nausea, and more.

Men diagnosed with male breast cancer at an early stage have a good chance for a cure. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the breast tissue. Other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may be recommended based on your particular situation.

Male Breast Cancer Survivors

“Learn Look Locate has long recognised that these three words apply to men too. Although we make up only one percent of new cases, when you are a part of that cohort, the disease presents a very real threat to your wellbeing. Help spread the word that this disease has no gender boundaries.”

“People say that I’m a Man with a Woman’s disease. I say I am a MAN with a disease that the world needs to be educated about! Predetermined by my genetic mutation which affects men and women equally. I will continue my work to enlighten the world about BRCA mutations and Male Breast Cancer until my very last breath!”

Shattering Stigma: The Reality of Male Breast Cancer

In this eye-opening video, Cynthia Jordan, founder of Learn Look Locate, sits down with two male breast cancer survivors, Harvey and Rod. Together, they delve into the unique challenges faced by men diagnosed with breast cancer and the importance of raising awareness about this often overlooked disease.


“Breast cancer is thought of as a woman’s disease, and it is. Only 1% of all breast cancers are found in men. Because it is rare to find breast cancer in a man, those diagnosed can feel alone. I hope that Learn Look Locate can make the journey less lonely.”

– Yara Robertson, MD, FACS, Breast Surgical Oncologist – Medical Advisor

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