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Male Breast Cancer Risks and Prevention

Risk factors increase a person's chance of getting cancer. There are different kinds of risk factors. Some risk factors for cancer, like age and family history, cannot be prevented.

There are some risk factors that have been shown to increase the risk for male breast cancer. However, just because you have one or more of these risks does not mean you will get cancer.

  • Aging. Risk of developing breast cancer increases with age
  • Family history. Having a family history of breast cancer increases your risk of developing breast cancer
  • Genetic Predisposition: Being BRCA1 or BRCA2 positive
  • Weight: Being obese
  • Medications, heavy alcohol use or certain types of liver disease
  • Previous exposure to radiation

Speak with your physician if you believe you are at an increased risk for breast cancer.

Risk Reduction and Prevention

While there is no absolute way to prevent breast cancer, it is recommended that everyone receive age-appropriate screenings and live a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, limiting alcohol intake and getting regular exercise.

As with most cancers, knowing the family history of breast cancer can help patients take action toward prevention, including:

  • Changing those risk factors that can be changed. Limit alcohol intake, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Find breast cancer early. Follow early detection guidelines to help find cancers when the likelihood of successful treatment is greatest.
  • Men who are or may be at increased risk can take steps to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer. These men should speak with their doctor to understand the risk and benefits of these steps.
  • Genetic testing for BRCA gene mutations.
  • Speaking with your physician about hormone levels.
  • Mammograms can be considered in male carriers of a BRCA mutation.

Cancer Risk Evaluation at the Abramson Cancer Center

Mariann and Robert MacDonald Cancer Risk Evaluation Center

The Mariann and Robert MacDonald Cancer Risk Evaluation Center provides genetic counseling to not only women, but also men, to help identify their genetic risk of breast cancer. The Center assists patients with cancer as well as those who may be at an increased risk for cancer.

Learn more about genetic counseling and support at the Mariann and Robert MacDonald Cancer Risk Evaluation Center.

The Basser Research Center for BRCA

The Basser Research Center for BRCA provides education and support for individuals and families with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Its mission is to deliver cutting edge research in basic and clinical sciences to advance the care of individuals who carry BRCA mutations.

Learn more about support and education for people with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations at the Basser Research Center for BRCA.