Managing Male Mammary Maladies


  • Ian S. Fentiman

Received Date: 24.10.2017 Accepted Date: 30.11.2017 Eur J Breast Health 2018;14(1):5-9

This review examines the symptoms, need for referral and management of the benign breast conditions which afflict males, together with the steps that are necessary to exclude or confirm male breast cancer. The most common complaint is gynaecomastia, either true or pseudo, and the majority of these cases need reassurance without over-investigation. Drugs that induce breast enlargement are described in order that, when possible, a medication switch can be made. Men receiving endocrine therapy for prostate cancer may develop painful gynaecomastia and this can be relieved with tamoxifen. All men with breast cancer need mammography as part of their work-up but this should not be used as a screening technique for symptomatic males. Because of lack of lobular development, both cysts and fibroadenomas are very rare in men; but those with nipple discharge need referral and investigation as some will have underlying malignancy.

Keywords: Male breast cancer, gynaecomastia, prostate cancer, mammography, ultrasound