Male Breast Cancer

Staging Male Breast Cancer

After male breast cancer has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread within the breast or to other parts of the body. This process is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the male breast cancer. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.
 
Male breast cancer is staged the same as it is in women (see Stages of Breast Cancer).
 
The spread of cancer from the breast to lymph nodes and other parts of the body appears to be similar in men and women.
 

Prognosis

Survival for men with breast cancer is similar to that for women with breast cancer when their stage at diagnosis is the same. Breast cancer in men, however, is often diagnosed at a later stage. Cancer found at a later stage may be less likely to be cured.
 
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and male breast cancer treatment options depend on the following:
 
  • The stage of the cancer (whether it is in the breast only or has spread to other places in the body)
  • The type of breast cancer
  • Certain characteristics of the cancer cells
  • Whether the cancer is found in the other breast
  • The patient's age and general health.
     

Recurrent Male Breast Cancer

Recurrent breast cancer is cancer that has recurred (come back) after it has been treated. The cancer may come back in the breast, in the chest wall, or in other parts of the body.
 

Summary

Important points to remember regarding male breast cancer include:
 
  • Male breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast
  • Radiation exposure, high levels of estrogen, and a family history of breast cancer can affect a man's risk of developing male breast cancer
  • Male breast cancer is sometimes caused by inherited gene mutations (changes)
  • Tests that examine the breasts are used to detect and diagnose male breast cancer
  • Survival for men with breast cancer is similar to survival for women with breast cancer
  • Certain factors affect the prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
     
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