Men Get Breast Cancer Too!

male breast cancer symptoms and warning signs

What is the incidence of breast cancer in men?

For each 100 women that we see with breast cancer, we see one man. Therefore the risk is low, particularly in comparison to cancers such as lung, prostate or colon. The National Cancer Registry of 2008 states that the life-time risk of breast cancer in males in South Africa is in between 1 in 943 to 1 in 1305, depending on race. Men, like women, may develop breast cancer at any age, but are more at risk between the ages of 60 and 80 years.

What types of breast cancer do men get?

What causes breast cancer in men ?

  • Family history and known carriers of the breast cancer gene mutation BRCA-1 and 2 have a higher chance of breast cancer.  Hereditary breast cancer makes up approximately 5% to 10% of all breast cancer. Some genes related to breast cancer are more common in certain ethnic groups.

Other risk factors include:

CANSA‘s head researcher, Carl Albrecht, cautioned South African men: “I think the important thing is that every man should realise that it is possible to contract breast cancer because a lot of men don’t understand and realise that breast cancer in men is something that can happen. So if you detect any kind of change in your breasts as a man, you should be aware that this could be cancer and if it doesn’t go away after two weeks you should go see a general practitioner.”


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