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Breast cancer in men

Breast cancer is often thought of as something that only affects women, but men can get it in rare cases. It grows in the small amount of breast tissue men have behind their nipples.

It usually happens in men over 60, but can very occasionally affect younger men.

Information:

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The symptoms of breast cancer in men include:

Read more about the symptoms of breast cancer in men.

See your GP if you have:

It's very unlikely you have cancer, but it's best to get your symptoms checked. Your GP will examine your breast and can refer you for tests and scans for breast cancer if needed.

If you do not have symptoms but have a clear family history of breast cancer, your GP may refer you to a genetic specialist to discuss your risk of getting it.

There are some inherited genes that increase your risk of cancer and a blood test can be done to check for these. Read about testing for cancer risk genes.

The treatment for breast cancer in men depends on how far the cancer has spread.

Possible treatments include:

Many men have surgery followed by 1 or more of the other treatments. This can help stop the cancer coming back in the future.

Read more about treatments for breast cancer in men.

The outlook for breast cancer in men varies depending on how far it has spread by the time it's diagnosed.

It may be possible to cure breast cancer if it's found early.

A cure is much less likely if the cancer is found after it has spread beyond the breast. In these cases, treatment can relieve your symptoms and help you live longer.

Speak to your breast care nurse if you'd like to know more about the outlook for your cancer.

The exact cause of breast cancer in men is not known, but there are some things that increase your risk of getting it.

These include:

It's not certain that you can do anything to reduce your risk, but eating a balanced diet, losing weight if you're overweight and not drinking too much alcohol may help.