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I am a man with a breast symptom

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Breast cancer in men is quite rare, with only around 350 men in the UK being diagnosed each year, ( As with women, the earlier a breast cancer is found, the better the chance of beating it is. Most breast cancers in men appear near the nipple as firm lumps.

Most breast tissue in men is concentrated in the area directly behind the nipple and the surrounding pigmented area, called the areola. It is this area and underneath the armpits that you should check regularly, looking for any unusual changes.The most common breast symptoms found in men are predominantly the same as found in women. They can be found in one or both sides of breast tissue and include:

  • A lump in the chest/breast area or in your armpit
  • Pain/tenderness around the nipple
  • Swelling of the chest around the nipple

For further information on male breast examination, click here.

The first thing you should do, if you have one or more of these symptoms (especially a lump in your chest area or under your arm), is to go and see your GP.  Often, the GP will be able to assess and treat your symptoms, however you may need to be referred to the ‘New Patient Clinic’ at your local Liverpool dedicated Breast Unit.

Although, at the Linda McCartney Breast Unit, we do not run a separate clinic for men, you will wait and be seen in a private and separate area from women attending the same clinic.

At the clinic you will be asked about your symptoms, other health problems, mediations and lifestyle. You may also have some blood tests, a scan or a biopsy (needle test).

Men and boys can sometimes develop more breast tissue than normal, due to a condition called Gynaecomastia. This is a benign (non-cancerous) swelling of the male breast tissue, and is not related to cancer. Breast Cancer Care have produced a booklet with information on this condition.