Ask the Doctor
September 23, 2014

Should a man be worried about breast cancer?

Dear Doc,

I am a man and ever since reaching age 60, both my breasts have enlarged. I even wear T-shirts when I swim. Should I worry about breast cancer?{{more}}


Dear Neil,

What you are describing is highly suspicious of gynaecomastia. This is a condition whereby the male breasts develop like those of females. This condition is common with persons who are longtime consumers of alcohol, marijuana or certain medications and who have an imbalance in the male and female hormones. There are some genetic conditions that cause gynaecomastia and many obese young males can experience this condition.

Men can develop breast cancer. Approximately one in every 100 cases of diagnosed breast cancer is of a male. What all persons with any noted changes in the breast must do is have their doctor examine and investigate the changes.

There is no routine annual mammogram for males and examination of the male breast would quickly demonstrate unusual findings. It is of significant importance that men pay attention to changes to the breasts with equal importance as women do, because the sparse nature of the breast tissue in men favours the quick spread of the cancer to other areas of the body. Any masses, bleeding from the nipples or enlargement of the breasts should raise concern.


SVG Cancer Society,

P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.


Phone: 526-7036