How to Lower the Risks of Male Breast Cancer

Healthy Living

Breast cancer in men is a rare but significant health concern that often goes unnoticed. While breast cancer is commonly associated with women, men are also susceptible to this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2,650 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in the United States each year, leading to approximately 530 deaths. Understanding the risk factors and preventive measures is crucial in reducing the incidence of male breast cancer. In this article, we’ll explore the strategies to lower the risks of breast cancer in men based on information provided by the CDC.

Understanding Male Breast Cancer

Before delving into prevention strategies, it’s essential to understand what breast cancer is and how it differs from breast cancer in women. Breast cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the breast tissue of men. Though less common than breast cancer in women, the underlying mechanisms and risk factors are similar.

Risk Factors

Several factors contribute to the development of breast cancer in males. Understanding these risk factors can help individuals make informed decisions to reduce their risk:

1. Age

Like in women, age is a significant risk factor for men. The risk increases with age, with most cases diagnosed in men over 60.

2. Family History

Individuals with a family history of breast cancer, particularly those with close relatives (such as a mother, sister, or daughter) who have had the disease, are at higher risk.

3. Genetic Mutations

Inherited gene mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. Men with these mutations have a higher chance of developing breast cancer compared to those without.

4. Exposure to Estrogen

Conditions that increase estrogen levels in men, such as Klinefelter syndrome, obesity, and certain medications, can elevate the risk of breast cancer.

5. Radiation Exposure

Previous radiation therapy to the chest area, often used to treat other cancers, can increase the risk of breast cancer in males.

6. Liver Disease

Chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis, are associated with hormonal imbalances that can elevate estrogen levels and increase the risk of breast cancer in men.

Prevention Strategies

While some risk factors for breast cancer, such as age and genetics, cannot be modified, there are proactive steps individuals can take to lower their risk:

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in men due to its association with higher estrogen levels. Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of breast cancer. Healthy eating and regular exercise can combine to help you maintain a healthy weight.

2. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can raise estrogen levels in men and increase the risk of breast cancer. Men should limit their alcohol intake to reduce their risk.

3. Quit Smoking

Smoking is not only a risk factor for various cancers but also contributes to overall health deterioration. Quitting smoking can improve overall health and reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

4. Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity has numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of breast cancer. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.

5. Breast Self-Exams

While men’s breast cancer is less common, men should still be aware of any changes in their breast tissue. Performing regular breast self-exams can help detect any abnormalities early, leading to prompt medical attention.

6. Screening and Early Detection

Men with a higher risk of breast cancer, such as those with a family history or genetic mutations, should discuss screening options with their healthcare provider. Screening may include mammograms or other imaging tests to detect breast cancer at an early stage when treatment is most effective.

7. Genetic Counseling and Testing

Individuals with a family history of breast cancer or known genetic mutations should consider genetic counseling and testing. This can help assess their risk and guide personalized prevention and screening strategies.

8. Manage Chronic Conditions

Men with underlying health conditions, such as liver disease or hormonal disorders, should work with their healthcare providers to manage these conditions effectively. Controlling hormonal imbalances and reducing estrogen levels can lower the risk of cancer to the breasts.

9. Stay Informed

Education and awareness are essential in preventing breast cancer in men. Learn about risk factors, symptoms, and preventive measures from reliable sources like the CDC and consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance. You can also consult organizations like for information from causes and symptoms to experiences shared by other individuals suffering from the disease. 

Male breast cancer may be rare, but it is not insignificant. Understanding the risk factors and taking proactive steps to lower the risk are crucial in reducing the incidence of this disease. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, staying informed, and seeking appropriate medical care, men can empower themselves to lower their risk of breast cancer and promote overall well-being.

This article synthesizes information from the CDC website and provides practical strategies for reducing the risk of breast cancer in men. It aims to raise awareness and promote preventive measures. Let me know if you need further revisions or additional information!