Male Breast Cancer Health Center

Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type cancer that develops in women. Men also get breast cancer, although this is still extremely rare.

Cancer always starts in the cells, which make up the tissue that is found in the breast and throughout the body. Cells have a life of their own – they grow and mature and eventually die off, at which point they’re replaced.

Sometimes, this orderly process goes wrong; new cells form when the body does not need them, and old or damaged cells do not die as they should. This build-up of extra cells often forms a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.

Tumors in the breast can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Benign tumors are generally not harmful. Malignant or cancerous tumors, though, can invade nearby tissue and spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body. When cancer spreads, this is known as metastasis.

Men do develop breast cancer, and it’s very similar to the disease seen in women. It starts either in the ducts or the lobules, forms tumors and can spread from there. Male breast cancer is rare, accounting for only about one percent of all breast cancers diagnosed.

Review Date: 
April 19, 2012
Last Updated:
September 27, 2013