Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Men possess a small amount of nonfunctioning breast
tissue (breast tissue that cannot produce milk) that is concentrated in the area
directly behind the nipple on the chest wall. Like breast cancer in women, cancer of the male breast is the uncontrolled growth of the
abnormal cells of this breast tissue.
Breast tissue in both young boys and girls consists of tubular structures
known as ducts. At puberty, a girl's
ovaries produce female hormones (estrogen) that cause
the ducts to grow and milk glands (lobules) to develop at the ends of the ducts.
The amount of fat and connective tissue in the breast also increases
as girls reach puberty. On the other hand, male hormones (such as testosterone)
secreted by the testes suppress the
growth of breast tissue and the development
of lobules. The male breast, therefore, is made up of predominantly small,
undeveloped ducts and a small amount of fat and connective tissue.
How common is male breast cancer?
Male breast cancer is a rare condition, accounting for only about 1% of all breast cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2010, about 1,970 new cases of breast cancer in men would be diagnosed and that breast cancer would cause approximately 390 deaths in men (in comparison, almost 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year). Breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than in men. Most cases of male breast cancer are detected in men between the ages of 60 and 70, although the condition can develop in men of any age. A man's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about 1/10 of 1%, or one in 1,000.
Many men tend to ignore cancer screenings and preventive health visits. Those who do get screened often do so at a woman's urging. But preventive screening can help find cancers or other problems when they are in their earliest stages, when they are much more likely to be curable and not cause serious problems.