An Update on the General Features of Breast Cancer in Male Patients-A Literature Review

Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 Jun 26;12(7):1554. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12071554.


Male breast cancers are uncommon, as men account for less than 1 percent of all breast carcinomas. Among the predisposing risk factors for male breast cancer, the following appear to be significant: (a) breast/chest radiation exposure, (b) estrogen use, diseases associated with hyper-estrogenism, such as cirrhosis or Klinefelter syndrome, and (c) family health history. Furthermore, there are clear familial tendencies, with a higher incidence among men who have a large number of female relatives with breast cancer and (d) major inheritance susceptibility. Moreover, in families with BRCA mutations, there is an increased risk of male breast cancer, although the risk appears to be greater with inherited BRCA2 mutations than with inherited BRCA1 mutations. Due to diagnostic delays, male breast cancer is more likely to present at an advanced stage. A core biopsy or a fine needle aspiration must be performed to confirm suspicious findings. Infiltrating ductal cancer is the most prevalent form of male breast cancer, while invasive lobular carcinoma is extremely uncommon. Male breast cancer is almost always positive for hormone receptors. A worse prognosis is associated with a more advanced stage at diagnosis for men with breast cancer. Randomized controlled trials which recruit both female and male patients should be developed in order to gain more consistent data on the optimal clinical approach.

Keywords: breast; cancer; diagnosis; male; prognosis; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This research received no external funding.