The cause of female and male breast cancers is similar. In both cases, males
and females generally have a family history of breast cancer. It has also been
noted that several men who develop breast cancer have a very strong family
history of breast cancer. For example, their mother and sister may have both
had the disease, or they could have an unusual high number of female relatives
that suffer from the disease.
Men who have been exposed to radiation are also at risk of
developing male breast cancer. This includes the radiation exposure that may
have occurred from radiation therapy to treat cancers. In other words, males who
received radiation therapy to treat another form of cancer like testicular, are
placed at a greater risk of also developing breast cancer.
High estrogen levels in males also place men at risk of
developing male breast cancer. Low levels of estrogen are common in males.
However, due to certain medical conditions, males may produce more than the
normal levels of this hormone.
Klinefelter's Syndrome: Ordinarily, men's bodies are
comprised of two chromosomes. They inherit an X chromosome from their mother, and
a Y chromosome from their father. In rare cases, a male may inherit an
additional X chromosome from their mother. Instead of having the normal XY sex
chromosome, men with Klinefelter's syndrome will have an XXY sex chromosome.
The extra X chromosome results in an increase estrogen level, which is a huge
contributing factor of breast cancer.
Cirrhosis of the Liver: There is scarring of the liver with
this condition. Cirrhosis is caused by alcohol abuse, viral hepatitis, or the
buildup of toxic substances in the liver. Toxic substances may include an
overdose of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Men with cirrhosis
of the liver may experience distorted levels of estrogen and testosterone. This
may include an increase in the level of estrogen that the body produces.