Understanding Breast Cancer in Men

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Although uncommon in men, breast cancer can affect men too. This year around three men will be diagnosed each week with breast cancer in Australia. 

Cancer Australia CEO, Professor Helen Zorbas said that early detection and appropriate referral and treatment are key to surviving the disease.

“Breast cancer is considered a woman’s cancer, but both men and women have breast tissue. It’s important that men don’t let embarrassment or uncertainty prevent them from seeing their doctor if they notice a change in their breasts,” Professor Zorbas said.

The most common symptom of breast cancer in men is a painless lump in the breast, often behind the nipple.

Other signs and symptoms of breast cancer in men include:

  • discharge from the nipple
  • change in the shape or appearance of the nipple or chest muscle
  • change in the shape or appearance of the breast, such as swelling or dimpling
  • unusual pain that doesn’t go away
  • swollen lymph nodes (glands) under the arm

Professor Zorbas said not all changes in the breast are due to cancer, but it is important for men to see a doctor if they notice any new or unusual breast changes.

“Breast cancer in men can be treated successfully. Finding and treating breast cancer early, before it has spread to other parts of the body, is as important for men as it is for women in surviving the disease” she said.

For more information on men and breast cancer visit:  www.canceraustralia.gov.au/men