Male and Female Breast Cancer: What’s the Difference?

Published on August 7, 2019

In the United States, over 250,000 women each year will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer. Though these numbers are high, early detection, medical and treatment advances have helped keep these alarming numbers low thankfully. However, when someone is diagnosed, it can be a scary time, and many still question why women are more likely to be diagnosed than men.    

The reason why women are at higher risk than men to develop breast cancer is because of the hormonal stimulation of highly responsive and vulnerable breast cells. This occurs during the extra-sensitive period of breast development. Estrogen and hormonal factors also play a significant role. Although the numbers are higher for new cases in women, men too are at risk.  

Each year over 2,500 new cases will be diagnosed in American men each year.    

A males breasts are made of fat and not formed glands, and the breast cells are inactive, which means lower levels of estrogen. However, that does not mean that men should forgo a check-up because there are fewer cases reported each year. Surprisingly, there have been studies that found characteristics of male breast cancer associated with outcomes that are different from the aspects of female breast cancer.  

Some of the more common risk factors include family history, a higher body mass index, and chronic alcohol use (basically more than two drinks per day). Other risk factors for breast cancer include liver diseases such as cirrhosis and radiation exposure of breast tissue, most commonly in individuals with Hodgkin disease who receive mediastinal radiation and exogenous estrogens, e.g., taking hormone replacement therapy for 10 to 15 or more years or taking exogenous estrogens in transgender males.   

Though the number of men diagnosed each year is low, more education needs to surround the subject as men are usually not taught to screen themselves and are unaware of the symptoms of the disease. Also, some men who might develop symptoms may choose to ignore them because of perceived stigmas and fear of emasculation.  

Men and women who are diagnosed at later stages and ages in life might have poorer outcomes.   

Regular examinations by a doctor or at home can help you stay on track and detect any abnormal changes. Men should perform self-routine exams, just like women by feeling for lumps that feel like hard knots. Men have less breast tissue than women, so noticing these types of changes can be more manageable. Any skin irritations such as redness, scaliness, or nipple discharge should be immediately brought to the attention of a doctor.   

The Hyperthermia Cancer Institute is the premier hyperthermia treatment center for breast cancer patients. Using our FDA- approved technologyhyperthermia can help increase the treatment response rate for breast cancer by 24 percent. There is a multitude of different treatments for breast cancer. Treatment options typically include but are not limited to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Some procedures can be performed in conjunction with others to significantly increase the effectiveness of those breast cancer treatments, including hyperthermia.  

Please reach out to us if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. To learn more about how hyperthermia treatment works and to find out if it may be right for you, contact our office to schedule your consultation today.