Change and Check: Male Breast Cancer

Did you know that breast cancer affects more than 500 men each year in the UK? As part of Lorraine's Change and Check campaign to get everybody checking for the signs of breast cancer, Dr Hilary Jones explains what men need to know about the disease.

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Breast cancer in men is much more rare than in women. Approximately 390 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK, compared to 54,800 women.

Men have a small amount of breast tissue behind their nipples, where breast cancer can develop. Most breast cancers are diagnosed in men between the ages of 60 and 70.

Men who have female relatives with breast cancer have an increased risk of breast cancer, especially if the women are close relatives (mother or sisters). The risk also increases if the women were diagnosed at a young age (below 40). Men, as well as women, can inherit faulty genes that increase the risk of breast cancer.

Men who have increased oestrogen levels (for example; due to genetic conditions) are also at a higher risk of breast cancer.

Symptoms of male breast cancer:- A lump in the breast area (usually painless).- Lumps under the arm or armpit.- A nipple turning inwards or fluid oozing from the nipple.- Swelling of the breast, or the skin going red or hard.- A sore or rash around the nipple which doesn't go away.

If you notice anything unusual, see your doctor or nurse as soon as possible. Early diagnosis could mean a better chance of successful treatment.

Click here for more information about breast cancer and find helplines to access help and support.