Male breast cancer is no myth

Though rare, breast cancer in men does occur. It accounts for less than 1 percent of all new breast-cancer cases in the U.S., but each year about 400 men die from it.

Male breast cancer is rare enough that widespread screening among men isn’t necessary, says Dr. Phil Evans, associate vice president for imaging services at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Most men with breast lumps have a benign condition known as gynecomastia, an excessive development of the male breasts.

“As with women, any suspicious lump should be evaluated by doctors through physical examination, mammography and ultrasound,” Dr. Evans says.

Malignancies are typically confirmed with a needle biopsy. If present, the cancer is treated with surgery and chemotherapy or radiation.

While men don’t need monthly self exams or annual mammograms, they should be aware of any changes in their bodies. If you feel an unexpected lump, you should see a physician to make sure it isn't cancer. Recovery rates are higher for cancer detected in the earliest stages.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services for cancer.
To learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in radiology, visit

October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Media Contact: Amanda Siegfried

Return to October 2010 News Tips