Male breast cancer: what you need to know

Man talking with physician

When you hear the words “breast cancer,” you may think of the color pink and associate the disease only with women. You may be surprised, though, to find out that males can in fact develop breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that in men in the United States, about 2,550 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and about 480 men will die from breast cancer in 2018. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 883.1

The good news is that early detection of male breast cancer has a good chance for a cure. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the breast tissue. It can also include chemotherapy and radiation, depending on your situation.2

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of male breast cancer. That way, you may be able to find it early when it may be easier to treat. The signs and symptoms can include:2

  • A painless lump or thickening in your breast tissue
  • Changes to the skin that covers your breast or chest area, such as visible dimples, redness, or scaling
  • Changes to your nipple, such as redness or scaling
  • A nipple that begins to turn inward
  • Discharge from your nipple

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs and symptoms above that worry you. Several factors can increase your risk for male breast cancer, including age, testicle disease, and obesity. Talk with your doctor about your risks.2