Male Breast Cancer Treatment
Treatment Options for Male Breast Cancer
Key Points for this Section
Breast cancer in men is
treated the same as breast cancer in women. (See the PDQ summary on
Breast Cancer Treatment
for more information.)
Treatment for men diagnosed with breast cancer is usually modified radical
mastectomy. Breast-conserving surgery with lumpectomy may be used for some men.
Therapy given after an operation when cancer
cells can no longer be seen is
therapy. Even if the doctor removes all the
cancer that can be seen at the time of the operation, the patient may be given
chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and/or targeted therapy after surgery, to try
to kill any cancer cells that may be left.
- Node-negative: For
men whose cancer is node-negative (cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes),
adjuvant therapy should be considered on the same basis as for a woman with
breast cancer because there is no evidence that response to therapy is
different for men and women.
For men whose cancer is node-positive (cancer has spread to the lymph nodes),
adjuvant therapy may include the following:
These treatments appear to increase survival in men as they do in
women. The patient’s response to hormone therapy depends on whether there are
hormone receptors (proteins) in the tumor. Most breast cancers in men have these
receptors. Hormone therapy is usually recommended for male breast cancer
patients, but it can have many side effects, including hot flashes and
impotence (the inability to have an erection adequate for sexual
Treatment for men with distant
metastases (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body) may be hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or both.
Hormone therapy may include the following:
Hormone therapies may be used in sequence (one after the other).
Standard chemotherapy regimens may
be used if hormone therapy does not work. Men usually respond to therapy in the
same way as women who have breast cancer.