Breast cancer awareness is often directed toward women, but it is important for men to be informed as well.

Flickr: Fifth World Art

While breast cancer in men is rare, it does happen, because like women, men have breast tissue.

The ratio of female to male breast cancer in the U.S. is 100 to 1, according to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Even so, 2,190 men are expected to be diagnosed and 410 are expected to die from the disease in the U.S. in 2012.

Because breast cancer is more common in women, men often do not realize their risk for diagnosis. As a result, some cancers are not detected until they reach a later stage.

It is important to find the cancer early for successful treatment because the male breast is much smaller than the female breast and the cancer may spread to the chest wall.

Common symptoms of male breast cancer include a lump in the chest area, skin dimpling or puckering and nipple changes.

According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, factors that can increase a man's risk for breast cancer include:

  • A genetic condition such as Klinefelter’s syndrome that is associated with high estrogen levels
  • Family members (male or female) with breast cancer, especially with a BRCA2 mutation
  • Chronic liver disorders, alcoholism and obesity
  • Getting older

The types of breast cancer found in men are the same as those found in women. Similarly, the treatments are the same as well. The most common treatment for male breast cancer is mastectomy, which is a surgical procedure to remove the breast with the cancerous tumor.

For more information about male breast cancer, visit

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