When you think of breast cancer, you think of a form of cancer that affects only women, it doesn’t. While breast cancer in men is rare it’s still an issue for the 11 men on average who are diagnosed with it every year in Northern Ireland.
Men do have a small amount of breast tissue behind their nipples and this is where breast cancer can develop. Signs and symptoms to look out for are similar to that of a female and include:
- An inverted nipple
- A lump anywhere within the breast tissue
- Nipple discharge
- Ulceration or swelling
We would encourage men to check their breasts for changes. If you notice any unusual changes to your breast tissue, check them with your doctor. Your doctor will check your symptoms and may refer you for tests at a hospital clinic if needed. This is important because if you do have breast cancer, you can begin treatment right away, which gives you the best possible chance of beating it.
Breast cancer in men is diagnosed using much the same approach as diagnosis in women, including clinical examination, imaging (a mammogram or ultrasound) and possibly a biopsy.