Featured Posts

What Can We Take From 2020?
As we eagerly embraced a new decade almost a year ago, full of positivity and aspirations for the year ahead, we were blissfully unaware of what lay ahead. No one was prepared for 2020...
View Post
The Ultimate Goal Setting Guide for 2021
Setting goals and working towards something specific is the key to success. Here’s how to set goals in 2021...
View Post
A Productive Start To The Year
Life should be about finding a balance that's right for you. There will be times when the pressure is on, and you need to put the hours in. Just don't make a habit of it.
View Post
What will happen to the fashion industry post covid-19?
Fashion is an industry which thrives on people being together- from huge worldwide showcases in Paris, Milan and New York to the most exclusive backstage parties attended by fashions elite.
View Post
To top

Yes, Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too

It’s often assumed that breast cancer only affects women, but men can get it too. It’s rare, but around 1% of cases of breast cancer in the UK are in men, which adds up to about 370 men a year.  

According to Macmillan Cancer Support: 

                         ‘Men have a small amount of breast tissue behind their nipples, where breast                           cancer can develop. Until puberty, breast tissue in boys and girls is the same.                           Both have a small amount of breast tissue behind the nipple and areola (the                             darker area of skin around the nipple). This is made up of a few tiny tubes                                 (ducts) surrounded by fatty tissue, connective tissue, blood vessels and                                      lymphatic vessels.’ 


It’s well known that the pressure society puts on men to be strong often leads to them avoiding seeking medical help, whether this is for physical or mental illnesses. Combined with the feminine associations with breasts and the pink branding of breast cancer awareness, it is very common for men to feel uncomfortable with the idea of visiting their GP about breast cancer. Worries about being perceived as weak, or having a form of cancer that is considered ‘unmanly’ can mean that although the disease is much more common in women, men are more likely to leave it later to get checked.   

Certain factors can increase the risk of breast cancer in men:

Age: as with breast cancer in women, being older puts you at more risk. Most men who get breast cancer are over 60, although it can affect younger men too.  

High oestrogen levels: all men have a small amount of oestrogen, but levels can be increased by factors such as obesity, long term liver damage and certain genetic conditions (for example Klinefelter syndrome). 

Radiation exposure: having had radiotherapy to the chest previously for other conditions can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.  

Family history: certain inherited genes can increase the risk of breast cancer in men – although the risk from this will still be less than the average woman.  


It’s important to check yourself regularly and keep an eye out for any of these symptoms, especially if you are in an at-risk category.  

  • A lump in the breast – most commonly hard and painless 
  • The nipple turning inwards (inverting) 
  • Fluid, which may contain blood, oozing from the nipple 
  • A sore rash around the nipple 
  • The nipple or surrounding skin becoming red, swollen or hard 
  • Small bumps in the armpit 


If you notice anything that seems different, new or worrying, make an appointment with your GP.  

If it turns out you do have breast cancer, it’s important to make sure you have access to support.  

Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, provides specific help and advice for men diagnosed with breast cancer.  

‘As breast cancer is usually associated with women you may feel embarrassed about discussing your diagnosis. Talking openly about your cancer may be difficult, especially at first, but it may make it easier for people to support you. Talking is also part of the process of adjusting to what has happened. Telling people the basic facts about your diagnosis and options for treatment can be a good way to begin and may lead naturally to talking about how you are feeling.’ 

You can also access support through Breast Cancer Now’s Someone Like Me service. This puts you in touch with a volunteer with experience of cancer who has been trained to help, whether this is by empathising with your struggles and sharing their own story, or just listening to your worries and concerns.  

‘Whatever you are concerned about, whether it’s the shock of a diagnosis, making decisions about treatment or how to adjust to life afterwards, or that you are feeling isolated, support is just a phone call or email away.’ 


Share This Story

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on pinterest

DISCLAIMER: We always aim to credit the original source of every image we include in our content. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please get in touch at marketing@cohorted.co.uk.