Breast CancerMale Breast Cancer

Let's Talk About Male Breast Cancer

Yes, it’s rare. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. Here’s what to look for if you’re a guy and you’re wondering about breast cancer.

    Our Pro PanelMale Breast Cancer

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in breast cancer to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    P. Hank Schmidt, M.D.

    P. Hank Schmidt, M.D.Breast Surgical Oncologist

    Mount Sinai
    New York, NY
    Veronica Jones, M.D.

    Veronica Jones, M.D.Breast Cancer Surgeon and Assistant Clinical Professor

    City of Hope
    Los Angeles, CA
    Jonathan Stegall, M.D.

    Jonathan Stegall, M.D.Medical Director

    The Center for Advanced Medicine
    Alpharetta, GA

    Frequently Asked QuestionsMale Breast Cancer

    How common is breast cancer in men?

    Not very. Only one in 833 men get breast cancer compared to one in eight women. That number rises to as many as seven in 100 men if you have a genetic predisposition to the disease. As many as 500 men die every year from breast cancer.

    How will my doctor check for breast cancer?

    The first thing your doctor will do is perform a clinical exam, where he or she will feel your chest area for anything out of the ordinary. Next, you may go for either a mammography or ultrasound imaging test. If your doctor sees something on one of these exams, you may also need a biopsy.

    What’s my prognosis like?

    Pretty good! For men with stage 0 or 1 breast cancer, the survival rate is 100%. For stage 2, the 5-year survival rate for men is 87% and for stage 3 it’s 75%. For advanced, stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to other organs or parts of the body (also called metastatic breast cancer) the 5-year survival rate is 25%.

    What causes male breast cancer?

    No one knows for sure. Genes, family history, your age, certain hormones, and body fat levels all play a role in determining your risk for the disease. Because breast cancer treatment success is directly tied to how early it’s discovered, see your doctor if you have any worries about something being wrong.

    Sunny Sea Gold

    Sunny Sea Gold


    Sunny is a health journalist, book author, and essayist living in Portland, OR.