ARDMORE, Pa. - Many believe that men are unable to develop breast cancer, but men count for 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses.
In 2021, about 2,650 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and an estimated 530 men are expected to die from it. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer for men is about 1 in 833.
Like all females, all males have breast tissue. The various hormones in girls' and women's bodies stimulate the breast tissue to grow into full breasts. Boys' and men's bodies normally don't make much of the breast-stimulating hormones. As a result, their breast tissue usually stays flat and small.
If boys and men have medium-size or large breasts, they're usually mounds of fat. Men can develop real breast gland tissue due to certain medications or abnormal hormone levels.
Because breast cancer in men is rare, few cases are available to study. Most studies of men with breast cancer are very small.
Click here to learn more about male breast cancer.