Male Breast Cancer Risk and Drinking Alcohol

Male breast cancer? When people think of breast cancer, they think of it in women. But men also get the disease. Thousands are diagnosed with it in the US every year.

male breast cancerSymptoms

A lump beneath the surface of the nipple is the most common symptom of breast cancer in men. But there may be changes to the skin.  Often it’s puckering or dimpling, redness, or scaling. There may be itching of the nipple. Or it may turn inward. A discharge from the nipple may also occur.

Male Breast Cancer Risk Factors

These are the major risk factors for breast cancer in males.

    • Age.
    • Obesity.
    • Diseased or removed testicle(s).
    • Exposure to radiation.
    • High levels of estrogen.
    • Klinefelter’s syndrome.
    • Cirrhosis of the liver.
    • History of breast cancer in relatives.
    • Certain genetic mutations.
    • Exposure to finasteride. That’s a drug used to treat baldness, prostate enlargement, and to prevent prostate cancer.

Treatment of men’s breast cancer usually involves removal of the tumor. This is followed by chemotherapy, radiation, hormone, or specialized therapy. The drug tamoxifen is often used in treating the disease.

The expected outcome or prognosis of breast cancer in a man is similar to that in a woman. The size and extent (stage) of the tumor are the most important factors. That’s why early detection and treatment are very important for a cure.

Male Breast Cancer Research

This study examined alcohol and risk of men’s breast cancer. It used 2,378 cases and 51,959 controls.

Breast cancer in males was not linked with any of the following.

    • Recent drinking.
    • Amount of alcohol consumed.
    • Cigarette smoking.
    • Extent of smoking.
    • Age at which smoking began.
    • Cigar smoking.
    • Pipe smoking.
    • Tobacco chewing.
    • Snuff use.

Age and weight had no effect on the lack of relationship. The authors found that “Tobacco and alcohol do not appear to be carcinogenic for male breast cancer.”

Male Breast Cancer