Factors that increase the risk of male breast cancer include:
Feb. 17, 2015
- Older age. Your risk of male breast cancer increases as you age. The peak incidence of male breast cancer occurs between the ages of 68 and 71.
- Exposure to estrogen. If you take estrogen-related drugs, such as those used as part of a sex-change procedure or for hormone therapy for prostate cancer, your risk of breast cancer is increased.
- Family history of breast cancer. If you have a close family member with breast cancer, you have a greater chance of developing the disease.
- Klinefelter's syndrome. This genetic syndrome occurs when a boy is born with more than one copy of the X chromosome. Klinefelter's syndrome causes abnormal development of the testicles. As a result, men with this syndrome produce lower levels of certain male hormones (androgens) and more female hormones (estrogens).
- Liver disease. Certain conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver, can reduce male hormones and increase female hormones, increasing your risk of breast cancer.
- Obesity. Fat cells convert androgens into estrogen. A higher number of fat cells in your body may result in increased estrogen and higher risk of breast cancer.
- Radiation exposure. If you've received radiation treatments to your chest, such as those used to treat cancers in the chest, you're more likely to develop breast cancer later in life.
- Testicle disease or surgery. Having inflamed testicles (orchitis) or surgery to remove a testicle (orchiectomy) can increase your risk of male breast cancer.
- Ruddy KJ, et al. Male breast cancer: Risk factors, biology, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Annals of Oncology. 2013;24:1343.
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- Chavez-Macgregor M, et al. Male breast cancer according to tumor subtype and race: A population-based study. Cancer. 2013;119:1611.
- Male breast cancer treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/malebreast/patient. Accessed Nov. 19, 2014.
- Patten DK, et al. New approaches in the management of male breast cancer. Clinical Breast Cancer. 2013;13:309.
- Distress management. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Sept. 17, 2014.