Surgery is the main treatment for breast cancer. Most men only have a small amount of breast tissue, so the most common operation involves taking away all the breast tissue and the nipple. This is called a mastectomy. You will usually have some or all the lymph nodes removed from the armpit during this operation.

Wide local excision (breast-conserving surgery)

Sometimes, the surgeon may be able to remove only the area of the cancer with some surrounding healthy tissue. This operation is called a wide local excision. For some men it may mean they keep their nipple. You might hear it called a lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery.

After this operation, the pathologist looks at the tissue that has been removed to see if there is an area of normal cells around the cancer. This is called clear margin. If there are still cancer cells at the edge of the removed breast tissue, you will need to have a mastectomy.

Your surgeon will talk to you about the type of operation that is recommended for you. They can also answer any questions you may have.


How we can help

Clinical Information Nurse Specialists
Our Cancer Information Nurse Specialists are dedicated cancer nurses available to talk to on our Macmillan Cancer Support Line. 
0808 808 00 00
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
Chat online
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Online Community
An anonymous network of people affected by cancer which is free to join. Share experiences, ask questions and talk to people who understand.
Help in your area
What's going on near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live.