Breast cancer - Men can also get sick

Breast cancer - Men can also get sick

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Breast cancer in men - a largely unknown disease

In the United States, the father of world-famous singer Beyonce Knowles announced this week that he has breast cancer. Public reactions to this show how few people are aware that men can also develop breast cancer. The world-renowned Mayo Clinic has therefore summarized the most important facts about breast cancer in men in a current release.

Beyonce Knowles' father has searched the public for his findings and has tried to encourage men to get breast cancer tests. Although the disease is far less common among them than among women, men can also fall ill in principle. The risk increases with age, but young men can also be affected. It is important to make an early determination, since the treatment chances are much better at an early stage. Men should also know the signs of breast cancer.

Breast tissue in men and women

Women and men alike are born with a small amount of breast tissue, which consists of milk-producing glands (lobules), channels that carry milk to the nipples, and fat. The difference is that women start developing more breast tissue during puberty, and men don't. Cancer can also result from the small amount of breast tissue in men. Men should therefore be aware of the possible symptoms and if there are signs of breast cancer, a medical examination should be carried out urgently.

Breast cancer symptoms in men

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of breast cancer in men include pain-free nodules or a thickening in the breast tissue, changes in the complexion in the breast area (such as swelling, redness or scaling), conspicuous external changes in the nipple or a nipple that can be turned inside out begins, as well as secretion from the nipple. If you find any symptoms in yourself, make an appointment with the doctor promptly!

Different forms of breast cancer

According to the Mayo Clinic, breast cancer in men can occur in various forms, such as canal carcinoma or invasive ductal carcinoma (starting in the milk ducts), as lobular carcinoma (starting from the milk-producing glands) or in the form of other types of cancer such as Paget's disease or inflammatory Breast cancer.

Hereditary disposition largely determines the risk

According to the Mayo Clinic, the basis for breast cancer diseases lies in the hereditary genes or genes. "Mutations in one of several genes, especially a gene called BRCA2, increase the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer," the clinic said. If necessary, a genetic test can help determine the risk if cancer has already occurred in a family environment.

Other risk factors for breast cancer

Other factors that increase the risk of male breast cancer include exposure to estrogen (e.g. from medication), Klinefelter syndrome (men with more than one copy of the X chromosome; abnormal development of the testicles), obesity, Liver disease (such as cirrhosis of the liver), testicular disease (e.g. testicular inflammation) or surgical removal of a testicle. The risk of illness also increases with increasing age.

Good healing prospects with early diagnosis

If breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, there is a good chance of a cure, but surgery to remove the breast tissue is usually required. Other treatment options that are used as needed are chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, late stage breast cancer may not be successfully treated, especially if metastases have already developed. It is therefore all the more important to seek medical help immediately if symptoms arise. (fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters


  • Mayo Clinic: Men can get breast cancer (published 10/03/2019),

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