Men too get breast cancer; discovered usually at advanced stage due to lack of awareness

As per the data available from KIDWAI memorial institute of Oncology, of the total 1200 new breast cancer cases they get annually, atleast 30 to 35 are men.

Published: 02nd February 2019 04:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2019 04:57 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Pramanthan (name changed), a 34 year IT professional hailed from Andra Pradesh working in Bengaluru was in shock of his life when he recently visited the doctors following swelling in his left armpit. The doctor who examined him referred to an Oncologist, where he was diagnosed with advanced "Breast Cancer"!

Yes, men too get breast cancer and according to the Oncologists in the state, of the total breast cancer cases they see annually, 2% of them are male. But, most of the male patients are approaching doctors during 3rd or 4th stage which is advanced. Experts in the field say that there is still a misconception that only women get breast cancer.

Dr C Ramachandra, director KIDWAI memorial Institute of Oncology said, "There is still a misconception that only women get breast cancer. Even men are vulnerable to breast cancer and we are seeing such cases in men who are coming for examination at the advanced stages."

ALSO READ | Let’s talk about male breast cancer

As per the data available from KIDWAI memorial institute of Oncology, of the total 1200 new breast cancer cases they get annually, atleast 30 to 35 are men. "The number of cases varies in our institute as we get cases across the state. Considering the 2018 data we had seen over 1200 breast cancer cases where about 30 to 35 are male breast cancers," explained Dr Ramachandra.

Apart from this there will be total followup cases upto 10,000 every year.

Even the private hospitals in the city are witnessing male breast cancers and as per the data available from some of the private hospitals in city, they are seeing atleast five male breast cancer cases per year.

Dr M Chandrashekar, Surgical Oncologist from Apollo Hospital Bengaluru said, "We are seeing atleast five male breast cancer cases in a year. Lack of awareness, mistaking cancer for gynaecomastia fat deposition and not doing self breast examination are the reasons."

"Breast cancer in males tends to present at later stages when compared to females with involvement of overlying skin, underlying muscles and spread to nodes in armpit. Breast cancer among males is usually hormone receptor positive. Last year, out of the total breast cancer patients treated in our hospital, two were male patients with breast cancer. While there are no specific causes of breast cancer among males, familial causes are also too low. Obesity may be an indirect contributor to male breast cancer, " says Dr G Girish, Consultant, Surgical Oncology, Laparoscopic Surgery at Aster CMI Hospital in city.


Though the family history is said to be one of the reasons, doctors call it a lifestyle disease.

- Genetic Inheritance of breast cancer genes.

- Low generation of male hormone levels

- Obesity

- Hepatic infectious disease leading to hyper generation of female hormone

- Exposure to radiation, heat and chemicals like benzene, tri and tetrachloroethylene

- Lack of breast tissues


In most cases, male patients with Breast cancer approaches doctors only at the advanced stage. However, the treatment for male breast cancer also same as female. And only thing is Male don't need replacement after surgery.

- Surgery

- Chemotherapy

- Radiation and regular follow-ups

How to diagnose at early stage

- Regular hormone check ups

- Keep track of family history of breast cancer

- Increasing awareness

- Sensitising the importance of breast self examination

- Meet the doctor if found lump, swelling around the breast areas of arm pit


- Lump in breast

- Swelling in arm pit area

- Tenderness in breast

- nipple discharge

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