For men who have breast cancer

All men have a degree of breast tissue behind the nipple. Male breast cancer is however very rare, occurring in only about 1 in every 1000 men. Because it occurs so rarely, male breast cancer is sometimes an indication that there is something (a gene) being inherited in the family making people in that family more likely to get breast cancer. It usually presents as a hard swelling behind the nipple often with changes to the nipple or the skin near the nipple. Most swellings behind the nipple are, however, not cancer but gynaecomastia.

Male breast cancer is treated in a very similar way to female breast cancer (see for women who have breast cancer). However, male breast cancer is almost always sensitive to hormone treatment and so men will usually always be taking this is as an additional treatment after surgery.

Men with breast cancer will usually be treated with mastectomy with surgery to the axilla.


Q. Will it be obvious in a tee shirt or in the male changing rooms that I have had surgery for breast cancer?
Answer. Sometimes the cosmetic appearance after male mastectomy can be improved with liposuction and/or surgery to the other side of the chest. There will still be a scar and out of clothes there will still be a difference between both sides of your chest. It should however be possible to make you look normal in a tee shirt.