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Male Breast Cancer Facts

Men, like women, can develop breast cancer

Yes, it's true. Men just like women have breast tissue that can develop abnormal cancerous cells. However, the last several decades have led to significant advances in the treatment and detection of breast cancer. So, whether you are male or female, with early detection, breast cancer can be treatable and beatable.

Men get breast cancer at significantly lower rates than women. The American Cancer Center (ACS) estimates that over 2,600 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed each year and of those, about 20 percent are estimated to die from the disease, compared to approximately 15 percent of women with breast cancer.

Male breast cancer may be less common than other male cancers, but the death rate is higher for male breast cancer than for both prostate (more than 17 percent) and testicular cancer (more than 4 percent).

Lack of awareness about male breast cancer can be fatal – men with breast cancer often mistake visible lumps for other problems or ignore them until it is too late; embarrassment and social stigma can also contribute to later diagnosis. Cancer found at a later stage may be less likely to be effectively treated.

Male breast cancer is most common in men between the ages of 60 and 70.
According to the American Cancer Society, the number of breast cancer cases has been increasing in the last 20 years; this is due, in part, to earlier detection with increased use of mammography.

Please Note: For a free breast self exam guide please click here.

A Family Health Tree to help identify breast cancer in your family can be found here.