What is male breast cancer?
Male breast cancer is when cancer develops in the small amount of breast tissue in a man. Breast cancer in men is rare, but it is possible. Male breast cancer is less than 1% of all breast cancer cases.
While men’s average risk of breast cancer is low, awareness and early diagnosis are still important. Talk to your doctor if you have risk factors or notice any signs of male breast cancer. Our team offers many resources and treatment options to connect you with needed care.
Types of breast cancer in men
Several types of breast cancer can develop in male breast tissue, many of which are the same in females. The most common type of breast cancer found in males is invasive ductal carcinoma—making up as many as 90% of cases. While rare, it’s also possible for males to have invasive lobular carcinoma, ductal carcinoma in situ or inflammatory breast cancer.
If you have a breast cancer diagnosis, your provider will help you understand your specific type of cancer. This is important because your care team has many options to target your care based on the type and stage of male breast cancer you have.
Invasive ductal carcinoma
This common type of breast cancer happens when cancer cells start in the milk ducts and then spread to other areas of the breast tissue. More advanced stages of this cancer may also spread to other parts of the body.
Invasive lobular carcinoma
While not common in males, invasive lobular carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that starts in the milk-producing tissue in the breast, called the lobular tissue, and spreads to other areas.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
This male breast cancer starts in the milk ducts and is the least invasive. In situ means the cancer cells are contained within the milk ducts and haven’t spread to other tissues.