Breast Cancer in Men: The Facts

While the causes of breast cancer in men aren't completely understood, researchers have found several factors that may increase the risk of getting it. Similar to women, many factors are related to sex hormone levels in the body.

  • Age - The risk increases as a man ages.
  • Family history of breast cancer.
  • Inherited gene mutations - Men with a mutation in the BRCA2 gene have an increased risk of breast cancer with a lifetime risk of about 6 in 100. BRCA1 mutations can also cause breast cancer in men. However, the risk is lower - about 1 in 100.
  • Klinefelter syndrome - Some studies have found that men with Klinefelter syndrome - a congenital condition that affects about 1 in 100 men - are more likely to get breast cancer than other men.
  • Radiation exposure.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Liver disease.
  • Estrogen treatment.
  • Obesity.
  • Testicular conditions - Some studies suggest that certain conditions, such as having an undescended testicle, mumps as an adult or having one or both testicles surgically removed may increase male breast cancer risk, although it is low.

Early Detection Saves Lives.. When breast cancer is caught early, the prognosis is often excellent. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer found early and confined to the breast is 99 percent.

For a referral to a RWJBarnabas Health primary care physician or breast specialist, call 888-724-7123