Men have breast tissue as well as the glands and ducts for making and carrying milk, so it’s possible, though rare, for them to develop breast cancer. California residents should be aware of the various types of breast cancer that can often affect men. Three go by the names of ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma.
One tenth of male breast cancer patients have DCIP, a cancer that begins in the walls of the milk ducts and may be non-invasive (“in situ”) or pre-invasive. There is currently no definite way to find out if DCIP will become invasive or not.
Invasive ductal carcinoma is much more common, affecting 8 in 10 male breast cancer patients. IDC starts in the milk duct and can spread to the fatty tissue of the breast. It often starts close to the nipple due to the smaller size of male breasts. As for invasive lobular carcinoma, this starts in the lobules, or milk-producing glands. Only about 2% of men with breast cancer have ILC.
It should be noted that men may develop tumors in the breast that turn out to be benign. These abnormal lumps are not life-threatening. Other times, men may experience an enlargement of their breasts. This is not cancer but rather a disorder called gynecomastia.
A man might be surprised to hear that he has breast cancer, but then again, so might his doctor. Cancers are often misdiagnosed, and breast cancers in men may be missed because of how rare they are. If a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis is clearly the result of negligence, the victim may have a case for a medical malpractice attorney. It may be wise to have such an attorney evaluate the case before moving forward with a claim.