Treatment options for male breast cancer are similar to those available for women.
Due to their reduced number of cases the efficacy of the different therapies tends to be based on what has worked for women, which is then tested and applied in men.
There are some differences however.
More conservative surgery, in particular lumpectomy – which is the extraction of the tumor and just a small portion of surrounding tissues – is rarely used to treat male breast cancer.
This is because the extraction of a nodule from a breast with so little mammary tissue often means the removal of significant part the nodule. Further, men have an added risk of rapid cancer spreading to the nipple, skin, muscles or lymphatic system, so surgery is often more extensive.
This also means that when it is possible to use a more conservative surgery - in small, localized tumors – this normally needs to be followed by radiotherapy.
This is another difference in the treatment of male breast cancer:
- Since conservative surgery is rarely used in men – so the option is to remove large amounts of tissue – radiotherapy as an adjuvant treatment (post-surgery) is less often used that with women.