Breast Cancer: Male Breast Cancer

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.



This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about breast cancer, in recognition of national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Previously, we talked about the emotional impact of a woman’s cancer on her husband or partner. But men can be directly affected by breast cancer, as well.

We normally think of breast cancer as a women’s disease, but although male breast cancer is rare, it does occur. About 400 men die each year from it. Dr. Phil Evans, director of the Center for Breast Care at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says male breast cancer is rare enough that widespread, regular screening isn’t necessary. However, men should be aware of changes in their bodies. Any unexpected lump should be evaluated by a doctor. Most breast lumps in men are from a benign condition called gynecomastia, which is an excessive development of male breasts. Doctors evaluate breast lumps in men the same way they do in women, with physical examination, mammography and needle biopsy.

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October 2011

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