For most men, the main treatment for early breast cancer is surgery to remove it. You may also have other treatments to reduce the risk of it coming back.
Treatments for men with breast cancer are similar to those used to treat breast cancer in women.
Your doctors look at different factors to help decide which treatments are likely to work best for you. These include:
- the stage and grade of the cancer
- if the cancer cells have oestrogen receptors (ER positive)
- if the cancer has HER2 receptors (HER2 positive).
Your cancer doctor and specialist nurse will explain the treatments that they think are best for you. They can help you to make decisions about your treatment.
For most men, the main treatment for early breast cancer is surgery to remove it.
Most men only have a small amount of breast tissue. This means the operation usually involves taking away all the breast tissue and the nipple on the affected side. This is known as a simple mastectomy.
Rarely, it may be possible to remove only the cancer and some normal looking tissue around it (a margin). This is called breast-conserving surgery. It is usually only possible if there is enough breast tissue to get a margin.
Breast-conserving surgery is almost always followed by radiotherapy. This helps reduce the risk of the cancer coming back (recurring).
You may have radiotherapy to the chest wall. This is to get rid of any cancer cells that may have been left behind after surgery. Some men may also have radiotherapy to the lymph nodes in the armpit or the lower part of the neck.
If the cancer is oestrogen-receptor positive, you will be given hormonal treatment for a few years. This usually starts after chemotherapy, if you are having it.