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Male Breast Cancer 
 
by Valencia P. Higuera August 15, 2005

Causes of Male Breast Cancer

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.

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