Male breast cancer Symptoms and causes, Male breast cancer in women, Male breast cancer Now, Male breast cancer symptoms, Male breast cancer treatment, Male breast cancer awareness, Male breast cancer pictures



Subject : Breast cancer Symptoms and causes,Breast cancer in women,Breast Cancer Now, breast cancer symptoms,breast cancer treatment,breast cancer awareness,breast cancer pictures,breast cancer types,breast cancer causes,breast cancer stages

Breast cancer is most often associated with having a breast lump. However, your symptoms may vary depending on your specific type of breast cancer. While it’s true that many breast cancer patients have a lump, not all of them will. So it’s important to know the other signs and symptoms. 

In general, the body produces certain warning signs. The most common is the breast lump, which may be located anywhere along your chest wall to under your armpit. You may have nipple bleeding or discharge, as well as related pain. There may be redness and/or swelling in any area of the breast or in one breast and not the other, and your nipple could look flatter or caved in. 

Having some of these symptoms or breast changes doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer. Many other factors go into a diagnosis, not just outward signs.

Early detection of breast cancer is key when it comes to breast cancer treatment options. If you have concerns with any new changes in your breasts, ask your doctor to review your symptoms and determine whether there’s a need for further evaluation.

To help answer your questions on the signs and symptoms to look for with different types of breast cancer, this guide will cover:

  • Early warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer
  • Non-invasive breast cancer symptoms
  • Invasive breast cancer symptoms
  • Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms
  • Metastatic breast cancer symptoms
  • Papillary carcinoma symptoms
  • Symptoms of angiosarcoma of the breast
  • Phyllodes tumor symptoms
  • Male breast cancer symptoms
  • The Breast Cancer Centers at CTCA

Male breast cancer Symptoms and causes

Breast cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can get it, too. Many people do not realize that men have breast tissue and that they can develop breast cancer. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer and can spread to other areas.

Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is malignant (cancer) if the cells can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. 

To learn more about how cancers start and spread, see What Is Cancer?

Breast cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can get it, too. Many people do not realize that men have breast tissue and that they can develop breast cancer.

Male breast tissue

Until puberty (on average around age 9 or 10), young boys and girls have a small amount of breast tissue consisting of a few ducts located under the nipple and areola (area around the nipple). At puberty, a girl’s ovaries make female hormones, causing breast ducts to grow and lobules to form at the ends of ducts. Even after puberty, boys and men normally have low levels of female hormones, and breast tissue doesn’t grow much. Men’s breast tissue has ducts, but only a few if any lobules.

Where breast cancer starts

Breast cancers can start from different parts of the breast. Most breast cancers begin in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple (ductal cancers). Some start in the glands that make breast milk (lobular cancers). Men have these ducts and glands, too, even though they aren’t normally functional. There are also types of breast cancer that start in other types of breast cells, but these are less common.

A small number of cancers start in other tissues in the breast. These cancers are called sarcomas and lymphomas and are not really thought of as breast cancers.

Although many types of breast cancer can cause a lump in the breast, not all do. There are other symptoms of breast cancer you should watch for and report to a health care provider.

It’s also important to understand that most breast lumps are benign and not cancer (malignant). Benign breast tumors are abnormal growths, but they do not spread outside of the breast and they are not life threatening. Any breast lump or change needs to be checked by a health care provider to determine whether it is benign or malignant (cancer) and whether it might impact your future cancer risk.

How breast cancer spreads

Breast cancer can spread when the cancer cells get into the blood or lymph system and are carried to other parts of the body. 

The lymph system is a network of lymph (or lymphatic) vessels found throughout the body. The lymph vessels carry lymph fluid and connect lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped collections of immune system cells. Lymph vessels are like small veins, except that they carry a clear fluid called lymph (instead of blood) away from the breast. Lymph contains tissue fluid and waste products, as well as immune system cells. Breast cancer cells can enter lymph vessels and start to grow in lymph nodes. Most of the lymph vessels of the breast drain into:

  • Lymph nodes under the arm (axillary nodes)
  • Lymph nodes around the collar bone (supraclavicular [above the collar bone] and infraclavicular [below the collar bone] lymph nodes)
  • Lymph nodes inside the chest near the breast bone (internal mammary lymph nodes)

If the cancer cells have spread to your lymph nodes, there is a higher chance that the cells could have also traveled through the lymph system and spread (metastasized) to other parts of your body. The more lymph nodes with breast cancer cells, the more likely it is that the cancer may be found in other organs. Because of this, finding cancer in one or more lymph nodes often affects your treatment plan. Usually, surgery to remove one or more lymph nodes will be needed to know whether the cancer has spread.

Still, not all men with cancer cells in their lymph nodes develop metastases to other areas, and some men can have no cancer cells in their lymph nodes and later develop metastases.

Benign breast conditions

Men can also have some benign (not cancerous) breast disorders.

Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is the most common male breast disorder. It is not a tumor but rather an increase in the amount of a man’s breast tissue. Usually, men have too little breast tissue to be felt or noticed. Gynecomastia can appear as a button-like or disk-like growth under the nipple and areola (the dark circle around the nipple), which can be felt and sometimes seen. Some men have more severe gynecomastia and they may appear to have small breasts. Although gynecomastia is much more common than breast cancer in men, both can be felt as a growth under the nipple, which is why it’s important to have any such lumps checked by your doctor.

Gynecomastia is common among teenage boys because the balance of hormones in the body changes during adolescence. It is also common in older men due to changes in their hormone balance.

In rare cases, gynecomastia occurs because tumors or diseases of certain endocrine (hormone-producing) glands cause a man’s body to make more estrogen (the main female hormone). Men’s glands normally make some estrogen, but not enough to cause breast growth. Diseases of the liver, which is an important organ in male and female hormone metabolism, can change a man’s hormone balance and lead to gynecomastia. Obesity (being extremely overweight) can also cause higher levels of estrogen in men.

Some medicines can cause gynecomastia. These include some drugs used to treat ulcers and heartburn, high blood pressure, heart failure, and psychiatric conditions. Men with gynecomastia should ask their doctors if any medicines they are taking might be causing this condition.

Klinefelter syndrome, a rare genetic condition, can lead to gynecomastia as well as increase a man’s risk of developing breast cancer. This condition is discussed further in Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Men.

Benign breast tumors

There are many types of benign breast tumors (abnormal lumps or masses of tissue), such as papillomas and fibroadenomas. Benign tumors do not spread outside the breast and are not life threatening. Benign breast tumors are common in women but are very rare in men.

Types of Breast Cancer in Men

The most common types of breast cancer are ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, and invasive lobular carcinoma.

Most breast cancers are carcinomas. In fact, breast cancers are often a type of carcinoma called adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells that make glands (glandular tissue). Breast adenocarcinomas start in the ducts (the milk ducts) or the lobules (milk-producing glands).

There are other, less common, types of breast cancers, too, such as sarcomas, phyllodes, Paget’s disease and angiosarcomas which start in the cells of the muscle, fat, or connective tissue.

Sometimes a single breast tumor can be a combination of different types. And in some very rare types of breast cancer, the cancer cells may not form a lump or tumor at all.

When a biopsy is done to find out the specific type of breast cancer, the pathologist also will say if the cancer has spread in to the surrounding tissues. The name of the breast cancer type will change depending on the extent of the cancer.

  • In situ breast cancers have not spread.
  • Invasive or infiltrating cancers have spread (invaded) into the surrounding breast tissue.

These general kinds of breast cancer can be further described with the terms outlined above.

Ductal carcinoma in situ

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; also known as intraductal carcinoma) is considered non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. In DCIS (also known as intraductal carcinoma), cells that lined the ducts have changed to look like cancer cells. The difference between DCIS and invasive cancer is that the cells have not spread (invaded) through the walls of the ducts into the surrounding tissue of the breast (or spread outside the breast). DCIS is considered a pre-cancer because some cases can go on to become invasive cancers. Right now, though, there is no good way to know for certain which cases will go on to become invasive cancers and which ones won’t. DCIS accounts for about 1 in 10 cases of breast cancer in men. It is almost always curable with surgery.

Lobular carcinoma in situ

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) may also be called lobular neoplasia. In LCIS, cells that look like cancer cells are growing in the lobules of the milk-producing glands of the breast, but they haven’t grown through the wall of the lobules. LCIS is not a true pre-invasive cancer because it does not turn into an invasive cancer if left untreated, but it is linked to an increased risk of invasive cancer in both breasts. LCIS is rarely, if ever seen in men.

Infiltrating (or invasive) ductal carcinoma

This is the most common type of breast cancer. Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma (IDC) starts in a milk duct of the breast, breaks through the wall of the duct, and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast. Once it breaks through the wall of the duct, it has the potential to spread to other parts of the body. Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma (IDC) starts in a milk duct of the breast, breaks through the wall of the duct, and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast. At this point, it may be able to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system and bloodstream. At least 8 out of 10 male breast cancers are IDCs (alone or mixed with other types of invasive or in situ breast cancer). Because the male breast is much smaller than the female breast, all male breast cancers start relatively close to the nipple, so they are more likely to spread to the nipple. This is different from Paget disease as described below.

Infiltrating (or invasive) lobular carcinoma

Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) starts in the milk-producing glands (lobules). Like IDC, it can spread to other parts of the breast and body. ILC is very rare in men, accounting for only about 2% of male breast cancers. This is because men do not usually have much lobular (glandular) breast tissue.

Paget disease of the nipple

This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the nipple. It may also spread to the areola (the dark circle around the nipple). The skin of the nipple usually appears crusted, scaly, and red, with areas of itching, oozing, burning, or bleeding. There may also be an underlying lump in the breast.

Paget disease may be associated with DCIS or with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It is rare and accounts for about 1-3% of female breast cancers and a higher percentage (5%) of male breast cancers.

Inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is an aggressive, but rare type of breast cancer. It makes the breast swollen, red, warm and tender rather than forming a lump. It can be mistaken for an infection of the breast. This is very rare in men. See Inflammatory Breast Cancer for more information.

Special types of invasive breast carcinoma

There are some special types of breast cancer that are sub-types of invasive carcinoma. They are much less common than the breast cancers named above.

Some of these may have a better or worse prognosis than standard infiltrating ductal carcinoma.

  • Adenoid cystic (or adenocystic) carcinoma
  • Low-grade adenosquamous carcinoma (this is a type of metaplastic carcinoma)
  • Medullary carcinoma
  • Mucinous (or colloid) carcinoma
  • Papillary carcinoma
  • Tubular carcinoma
  • Metaplastic carcinoma (including spindle cell and squamous, except low grade adenosquamous carcinoma)
  • Micropapillary carcinoma
  • Mixed carcinoma (has features of both invasive ductal and lobular)

In general, these sub-types are still treated like standard infiltrating carcinoma.

People often assume that men don’t get breast cancer. Although breast cancer is much more common in women, men do have a small amount of breast tissue and can develop breast cancer. Men and women both have breasts that are made up of fatty tissue, fibrous tissue called stroma, nipples, ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipples), and lobules (milk-producing glands). During puberty, the hormones in girls’ bodies cause their breast tissue to grow.

The hormones in boys’ bodies restrict the growth of their breasts, so their breast tissue stays smaller. Most breast cancers in men are ductal carcinomas, which begin in the milk ducts. Male breast cancer is a rare disease. In the United States, fewer than 1% of all breast cancers occur in men. In 2022, about 2,710 American men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 530 are expected to die from the disease. An average man’s risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in his lifetime is about one in 1,000 (compared to one in eight for the average woman). Unfortunately, men are often diagnosed with breast cancer at a more advanced stage. The main reason is they don’t have routine screening mammograms like women do to find breast cancer at an early stage when it is easier to treat. And since men may not know they can get breast cancer,

they’re usually not on the lookout for changes in their breast tissue, and may not realize they should talk to their doctor about a lump, pain, swelling, or other symptoms. Doctors say that men should be familiar with how their breast tissue normally looks and feels so they can be aware of any changes. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chances it can be successfully treated.

The outcomes of men with breast cancer are about the same as those of women diagnosed at the same age and stage. Since there are relatively few cases of breast cancer in men compared to women, there is less information and research focused specifically on male breast cancer. As a result, treatment decisions for male breast cancer are often based on studies of breast cancer in women.

Fortunately, more clinical trials of breast cancer treatments are now including men. If you’re a man who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s worth finding out if you can enroll in a clinical trial of a treatment that might be beneficial for you. Some men who’ve had breast cancer say they felt especially shocked and isolated by their diagnosis because everyone views breast cancer as a women’s disease. Many say they had never met other men who had breast cancer. It’s important to know that support is available through groups like the Male Breast Cancer Coalition.  

This information is provided by Breastcancer.org.
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Early warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer

A painless lump in the breast is usually the first sign of breast cancer, though you may not feel it yourself. Instead, many lumps are detected by a routine screening mammogram. In fact, at the time of diagnosis, most women don’t have any apparent signs of breast cancer. When the tumor is small in the early stages of breast cancer, it’s rarely noticeable to the touch or the naked eye. That’s why mammograms play an important role.

Mammograms (low-dose X-rays of the breast) may help detect a tumor in the breast long before it’s big enough to start causing symptoms and when the cancer is likely to be more easily treatable. Tumors may be as small as the tip of a pencil (1 mm) or as big as a lime (50 mm). Mammograms are designed to spot tumors on the smaller end of the spectrum, when they can’t yet be seen or felt. Regular mammograms are the most reliable way to catch breast cancer early, according to the American Cancer Society. But mammograms on their own can’t catch every case of breast cancer, which is why it’s important to pay attention to changes in your breasts, because you know your body best. 

Symptoms of breast tumors vary from person to person. Some common, early warning signs of breast cancer include:

  • Skin changes, such as swelling, redness, or other visible differences in one or both breasts
  • An increase in size or change in shape of the breast(s)
  • Changes in the appearance of one or both nipples
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • General pain in/on any part of the breast
  • Lumps or nodes felt on or inside of the breast

Early warning signs of invasive breast cancer

Symptoms more specific to invasive breast cancer are:

  • Irritated or itchy breasts
  • Change in breast color
  • Increase in breast size or shape (over a short period of time)
  • Changes in touch (may feel hard, tender or warm)
  • Peeling or flaking of the nipple skin
  • A breast lump or thickening
  • Redness or pitting of the breast skin (like the skin of an orange)

It’s important to remember that other, benign conditions may have caused these changes. For example, changes to the skin texture on the breast may be caused by a skin condition like eczema, and swollen lymph nodes may be caused by an infection in the breast or another, unrelated illness. Seeing a doctor for an evaluation will help you determine whether something you notice is cause for concern.

Breast cancer treatment: The care you need is one call away

Your multidisciplinary team will work with you to develop a personalized plan to treat your breast cancer in a way that fits your individual needs and goals.


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Non-invasive breast cancer symptoms

Non-invasive breast cancer is sometimes called stage 0 cancer. It is an early stage of breast cancer, meaning the tumor is often very small. Given that the primary symptom of breast cancer is an abnormal lump in the breast and non-invasive breast cancer usually comes with a tumor that’s so small it’s only detectable by a mammogram, non-invasive breast cancer is unlikely to cause noticeable physical symptoms. 

Ductal carcinoma in situ symptoms

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) does not cause any symptoms. Rarely, a woman may feel a lump in the breast or have nipple discharge. However, most cases of DCIS are detected with a mammogram.

Lobular carcinoma in situ symptoms

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) does not cause symptoms and cannot be seen with a mammogram. This condition is usually found when a doctor is doing a breast biopsy for another reason, such as to investigate an unrelated breast lump. If a person has LCIS, the breast cells will appear abnormal under a microscope.

Invasive breast cancer symptoms

Most breast cancers start in the ducts, or the tubes that carry milk to the nipple, or in the lobules, the little clusters of sacs where breast milk is made. Invasive breast cancer refers to breast cancer that spreads from the original site to other areas of the breast, the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body. In these cancers that form in the ducts or lobules, invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) or invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), the cancer spreads from the ducts or lobules to other tissue. Depending on the stage, you may notice symptoms.

Invasive breast cancer symptoms may include:

  • A lump or mass in the breast
  • Swelling of all or part of the breast, even if no lump is felt
  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Nipple retraction (turning inward)
  • The nipple or breast skin appears red, scaly, or thickened
  • Nipple discharge
  • A lump or swelling in the underarm lymph nodes

Breast cancer treatment: The care you need is one call away

Your multidisciplinary team will work with you to develop a personalized plan to treat your breast cancer in a way that fits your individual needs and goals.

Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms

Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) rarely causes breast lumps and may not appear on a mammogram. Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen, itchy breast that is tender to the touch
  • The surface of the breast may take on a ridged or pitted appearance, similar to an orange peel (often called peau d’orange)
  • Heaviness, burning or aching in one breast
  • One breast is visibly larger than the other
  • An inverted nipple (facing inward)
  • No mass is felt with a breast self-exam 
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the arm and/or above the collarbone
  • Symptoms unresolved after a course of antibiotics

Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer usually does not cause a distinct lump in the breast. Therefore, a breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, or even a mammogram may not detect inflammatory breast cancer. Ultrasounds may also miss inflammatory breast cancer. However, the changes to the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye.

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer can develop rapidly, and the disease can progress quickly. Any sudden changes in the texture or appearance of the breast should be reported to your doctor immediately.

For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, redness, swelling, itchiness, and soreness are often signs of a breast infection such as mastitis, which is treatable with antibiotics. If you are not pregnant or nursing and you develop these symptoms, your doctor should test for inflammatory breast cancer.

Because of the aggressive nature of IBC, CTCA knows it’s critical to detect and diagnose the disease quickly, develop a comprehensive treatment plan and provide integrative care services that help improve patients’ treatment outcomes and reduce their side effects.

Metastatic breast cancer symptoms

Metastatic breast cancer symptoms depend on the part of the body to which the cancer has spread and its stage. Sometimes, metastatic disease may not cause any symptoms.

  • If the breast or chest wall is affected, symptoms may include pain, nipple discharge, or a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm.
  • If the bones are affected, symptoms may include pain, fractures, constipation or decreased alertness due to high calcium levels.
  • If tumors form in the lungs, symptoms may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, coughing, chest wall pain or extreme fatigue.
  • If the liver is affected, symptoms may include nausea, extreme fatigue, increased abdominal girth, swelling of the feet and hands due to fluid collection and yellowing or itchy skin.
  • If breast cancer spreads to the brain or spinal cord and forms tumors, symptoms may include pain, confusion, memory loss, headache, blurred or double vision, difficulty with speech, difficulty with movement or seizures.

Papillary carcinoma symptoms

Although papillary carcinoma may not be present, a routine mammogram may detect its development. For those who do experience symptoms related to this type of cancer, the following may be common:

  • Mass: Papillary carcinoma is most often detected as a cyst or lump of about 2 cm to 3 cm in size that may be felt with the hand during a breast self-exam.
  • Nipple discharge: About 50 percent of papillary carcinomas occur beneath the nipple, resulting in bloody nipple discharge.

Symptoms of angiosarcoma of the breast

Another rare form of breast cancer, angiosarcoma forms inside the lymph and blood vessels. Only a biopsy may definitively diagnose this type of cancer. Angiosarcoma can cause changes to the skin of your breast, such as the development of purple-colored nodules that resemble a bruise. These nodules, if bumped or scratched, may bleed. Over time, these discolored areas may expand, making your skin appear swollen in that area. You may or may not have breast lumps with angiosarcoma. If you also have lymphedema, which is swelling caused by a buildup of lymphatic fluid, angiosarcoma may occur in the affected arm. Cancer treatment sometimes damages the lymph vessels, which may lead to lymphedema.

Phyllodes tumor symptoms

Most phyllodes tumors are benign, but one in four is considered cancerous, according to the ACS. This rare type of cancer is found in the connective tissues of the breast. Most patients don’t experience pain, although they may have a lump. Phyllodes tumors may grow fast but, fortunately, they don’t typically spread to other areas of the body. Because these tumors may grow quickly, causing the  skin to stretch, they need to be surgically removed. If a tumor is cancerous, your care team may recommend that you undergo a mastectomy to prevent it from growing back, especially if the tumor wasn’t completely removed during the initial surgery.

Male breast cancer symptoms

Male breast cancer symptoms can be similar to those experienced by women and may include:

  • Lumps in the breast, usually painless
  • Thickening of the breast
  • Changes to the nipple or breast skin, such as dimpling, puckering or redness
  • Discharge of fluid from the nipples


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What’s the difference? Male breast cancer and female breast cancer

Though men make up a small portion of the people who have breast cancer—just less than 1 percent—they’re also often diagnosed at a later stage, which can affect the outcome. 

The Breast Cancer Centers at CTCA

At the Breast Cancer Centers at each of our CTCA® hospitals, located across the nation, our cancer experts are devoted to a single mission—treating breast cancer patients with compassion and precision. Each patient’s care team is led by a medical oncologist and coordinated by a registered oncology nurse, who helps track the various appointments, follow up on tests and answer questions that come up along the way. Your care team also may include a breast surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist, pathologist and a plastic/reconstructive surgeon with advanced training in helping patients restore function and appearance. Fertility preservation and genetic testing are also available for qualifying patients who need them.

Our pathologists and oncologists are experienced and trained in tools designed to diagnose, stage and treat different types of breast cancer, from early-stage ductal carcinoma in situ to complex diseases such as triple-negative and inflammatory breast cancer. As part of our patient-centered care model, which is designed to help you keep strong during treatment, your multidisciplinary care team may recommend various evidence-informed supportive therapies, such as naturopathic support, psychosocial support, nutritional support, physical and occupational therapy and pain management. The entire team works together with a whole-person focus, which is at the heart of our centers’ dedication to personalized and comprehensive care. 

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