Breast cancer is often thought of as a condition that only affects women, but men can also develop it.

It'smuch less common in men than women, with only around 1 new case of breast cancer diagnosed for every 100,000 men (about 350 to 400 cases) in the UK each year.

The cancer develops in the small amount of breast tissue men have behind their nipples. The most common symptom is a hard, painless lump in one of the breasts.

However, the vast majority of breast lumps are caused bya condition called gynaecomastia . This is a common non-cancerous condition where male breast tissue becomes enlarged.

Breast cancer in men can also cause nipple problems, such as the nipple turning in on itself (retraction) or nipple discharge.

This may be followed by a long-term course of hormone-blocking therapy using medication, usuallya drugcalled tamoxifen.

Tamoxifen helps block the effects of hormonesknown to stimulate the growth of cancerous cells in breast tissue. It should help prevent the cancer returning.

In some cases, Radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be used for the same purpose.

This is because there's reduced awareness of the condition and it may take longer to diagnose.

The survival rates for breast cancer in men largely depend on how far the cancer has spread before it's diagnosed.

Breast cancer diagnosed at an early stage can often be treated successfully, but effective treatment is more difficult if the cancer has spread beyond the breast tissue.

Unfortunately, many cases are diagnosed after the cancer has already started to spread.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 14 Jan 2016