We compare female breast cancer vs. male breast cancer, including risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options available at our northwest GA oncology centers.
There are many differences between male and female breast cancer, but the most important distinction is that breast cancer is about 100 times more common in women than in men. In fact, male breast cancer makes up less than 1% of all breast cancer cases.
In this article, we’ll talk about differences in breast cancer between men and women, symptoms, and treatment options available at our northwest GA oncology centers.
Why Breast Cancer Is More Common in Women?
There are a few possible explanations for why breast cancer is more common in women:
- First, women have more breast tissue than men. This gives them more opportunities for cancer to develop.
- Additionally, estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells. Women have higher levels of estrogen than men, which may explain why they are more likely to develop breast cancer.
- Finally, lifestyle choices may play a role. Women who smoke, drink alcohol, or don't exercise regularly are at a higher risk for developing breast cancer.
Even though male breast cancer is relatively rare, it is still important to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer in Men vs Women
There are many signs and symptoms of breast cancer, but they differ slightly between men and women. In men, the most common symptom is a lump or mass in the chest area. This is often painless but can cause pain or discomfort. Other symptoms may include:
- Swelling in the chest area
- Nipple discharge
- Changes in the appearance of the nipple, such as crusting, ulceration, or inverted nipples
- Pain in the breast or nipple area
In women, the additional symptoms may include:
- A lump or mass in the breast: This is often the first symptom that women notice. It may be painless, but it can be uncomfortable or even painful.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast: The breast may become larger or smaller, or it may change shape.
- Changes to the skin of the breast: The skin may become red, scaly, or thickened.
- Pain in the breast: This can be a dull ache or a sharp pain. It may be constant or come and go.
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is key to the successful treatment of breast cancer.
Treatment For Male Breast Cancer vs Female Breast Cancer
Treatment for male breast cancer is typically the same as treatment for female breast cancer. Common treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
The treatment of breast cancer varies depending on the type and stage of the disease. Treatment also differs for men and women.
- For men, the most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which starts in the milk ducts.
- For women, the most common type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma, which starts in the milk glands.
Treatment for ductal carcinoma or lobular carcinoma usually starts with surgery to remove the cancerous tumor. Depending on the stage of the disease, additional treatment may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.
Although breast cancer is much more common in women, men are just as likely to die of the disease. This is likely because male breast cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage when the cancer is more aggressive and difficult to treat.
If you are a man with breast cancer, or if you are close to someone who is, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you through this difficult time. Contact one of the GA oncology centers in northwest for help.