For most men, the main treatment for early breast cancer is surgery to remove it. As most men have only a small amount of breast tissue, the operation usually involves taking away all of the breast tissue and the nipple on the affected side. Rarely, only the lump and some surrounding tissue is removed.
Many men will then have other treatments after surgery (adjuvant therapy) to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back (recurring). These treatments may include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or targeted therapy with trastuzumab (Herceptin®).
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 large, has spread to the lymph nodes or is high grade, you may be given chemotherapy after your operation. Men who have triple-negative breast cancer are also usually treated with chemotherapy.
If the cancer is ER-positive, you’ll be given hormonal treatment for a number of years. This will start after chemotherapy if you are having it.
If you have HER2-positive breast cancer, you may have treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and chemotherapy.