How Common and Dangerous Is Male Breast Cancer?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    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.

Ask the experts

Male breast cancer - is it not as common or dangerous as breast cancer in women?

Doctor's response

Breast cancer is much less common in men. Fewer than 1% of persons with breast cancer are male. (In the U.S., about 175,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, as compared to 1,300 men.)

However, breast cancer is no less dangerous in males than females. Once the diagnosis of breast cancer is made, the mortality rates are virtually the same for men and women.

In sum, breast cancer is far less frequent but equally ferocious in males.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018