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

Three Types of Male Breast Cancer

  • Infiltrating ductal carcinoma: Cancer that has extended outside of the breast lining.
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ: This occurs when cancerous cells are discovered in the lining of the intraductal carcinoma.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer: Breast cancer in which the breasts appear red, enlarged, and inflamed.
  • Paget’s disease: This cancer occurs when a tumor develops on the surface of the nipple.

Signs of Male Breast Cancer

Common symptoms of male breast cancer include:

  • Hard, painless lump on breast
  • Change in size of breast
  • Nipple discharge or bleeding
  • Scaly skin on nipple
  • Redness on breast or nipple

Males who experience one or more of these symptoms should seek medical attention. Although male breast cancer is rare, delaying treatment will make it difficult to cure this illness. The procedure to diagnose male breast cancer is a biopsy. During a biopsy, a thin needle is inserted into the lump. Tissue samples are removed from the lump for examination. In some cases, doctors will remove the entire lump. The sample is observed by a pathologist. Once male breast cancer is confirmed, the next step is determining the stage of cancer. This information is essential for choosing the most effective treatment.

Stages of Breast Cancer

Male and female breast cancer consists of five stages. Doctors determine stages based on the size of tumors, and whether cancer is present in other areas of the body. The stages of breast cancer include:

Stage 0: Cancerous cells develop; tumors have not formed.

Stage 1: The tumor is smaller than 2 centimeters, and cancer has not spread to surrounding tissues and organs.

Stage 2: The tumor is between 2 and 5 centimeters, and cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage 3: Advanced stage in which cancer has spread to surrounding tissues such as skin, chest wall, and rib cage.

Stage 4: Cancer has spread to other parts of the body and may affect the brain, bones, liver, or lungs.

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