Males – “Breast Cancer Does NOT Discriminate”

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this form of Cancer is more prevalent in Women than Men. Unfortunately Cancer in general doesn’t discriminate.

This year, an estimated 2,240 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. An estimated 410 men will die of breast cancer this year. Breast Cancer in men and women has similar survival rates. For earlier stages 0 and 1 there is a five year survival rate,meaning that the percentage of people who survive at least five years after cancer being detected. But any statistic should be interpreted with caution,as most statistics are based on data collected form thousands over a five year interval.

This year, an estimated 2,240 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Treatment for men is the same as treatment for women and usually includes a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or targeted therapy. Learn more about treatment for breast cancer in men. 

The American Cancer Society estimates for breast cancer in men in the United States for 2013 are:

  • About 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed
  • About 410 men will die from breast cancer

Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. The number of breast cancer cases in men relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years.

Last Medical Review: 09/30/2013
Last Revised: 09/30/2013

Types of Breast Cancer in men

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; also known as intraductal carcinoma) is considered non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. In DCIS (also known as intraductal carcinoma), cells that lined the ducts have changed to look like cancer cells. The difference between DCIS and invasive cancer is that the cells have not spread (invaded) through the walls of the ducts into the surrounding tissue of the breast (or spread outside the breast). DCIS is considered a pre-cancer because some cases can go on to become invasive cancers. Right now, though, there is no good way to know for certain which cases will go on to become invasive cancers and which ones won’t. DCIS accounts for about 1 in 10 cases of breast cancer in men. It is almost always curable with surgery.

Infiltrating (or invasive) ductal carcinoma (IDC)

This type of breast cancer breaks through the wall of the duct and grows through the fatty tissue of the breast. At this point, it can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. At least 8 out of 10 male breast cancers are IDCs (alone or mixed with other types of invasive or in situ breast cancer). Because the male breast is much smaller than the female breast, all male breast cancers start relatively close to the nipple, so they are more likely to spread to the nipple. This is different from Paget disease as described below.

Infiltrating (or invasive) lobular carcinoma (ILC)

This type of breast cancer starts in the breast lobules (collections of cells that, in women, produce breast milk) and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast. ILC is very rare in men, accounting for only about 2% of male breast cancers. This is because men do not usually have much lobular tissue.

Paget disease of the nipple

This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the nipple. It may also spread to the areola (the dark circle around the nipple). The skin of the nipple usually appears crusted, scaly, and red, with areas of itching, oozing, burning, or bleeding. There may also be an underlying lump in the breast.

Paget disease may be associated with DCIS or with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It accounts for about 1% of female breast cancers and a higher percentage of male breast cancers.

Inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is an aggressive, but rare type of breast cancer. It makes the breast swollen, red, warm and tender rather than forming a lump. It can be mistaken for an infection of the breast. This is very rare in men. This cancer is discussed in detail in our document Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
Last Medical Review: 09/30/2013
Last Revised: 09/30/2013

Famous Men With Breast Cancer

Richard Roundtree, actor.

Ernie Green,former fullback for the Cleveland Browns

Robert Ray Roddy, announcer for The Price is Right

Edward Brooke, former U.S. Senator for Massachusetts

Peter Criss, drummer/singer/rocker former drummer of the Rock Band Kiss


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