Breast Cancer Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Breast Cancer in Males

I have been reading some sites on the internet and my just be panicing.  I'm a 39 year old male who went to my doctor in early June for pain under my left armpit.  After a check he found what he thought was an enlarged lymph node.  He did blood work for all the nasty things, my tests came back normal.  He sent me to a surgeon the next week.  He did a breast exam of both breast and checked my lymph nodes.  He said he did not feel that I needed a mammogram, and that I did have larger lymph nodes on the left side, but none were abnormally big.  He told me to come back in September to recheck the lymph nodes to make sure they are not getting bigger.

I have noticed for some time, (a couple of years) that I have, I guess man breasts, fat, or whatever.  While it is on both sides I noticed I have a little more on the left than the right.  When I bend over I can see more of a breast on the left side than the right, although I see it on both sides.  

It has been about a month and I don't think my lymph nodes are getting any larger, I would say the biggest one is the size of a pea.  In fact it seems like some days they are bigger than other days.

I have read that one side of the breasts being larger than the other could be a sign of breast cancer.  I can't feel any lumps, hard or fatty on the left side.  I did have a major size lypoma taken from my leg years ago so I know what fatty tumors feel like.

Should I ask the surgeon to perform a mammogram, or should I continue to wait until my September appointment?

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear mmadd29,  Male breast cancer is rare, but one out of every 150 cases of breast cancer involves a man, usually in men over 60 years old.  A painless breast lump is the most common sign of breast cancer, although most breast lumps in men are benign (non-cancerous) and are related to some other cause.  You do not describe a specific lump in the breast and there could be a certain amount of difference between breast size, without this being a problem.  Having this rechecked in September seems reasonable, however if in the meantime you are noticing changes (i.e. the lymph node getting larger, or other changes) check in with him sooner.
Avatar universal
In my opinion mammograms are rarely useful in men. What you describe doesn't sound like a true lump. In male breast cancer, there is a hard lump near the nipple, sometimes with distortion of the nipple or nearby skin. If there is uniform softness of your breast areas, it's extremely unlikely to be cancer. Pea-sized lymph nodes are not usually significant either. However, peace of mind is important; if you are worried about the plan, you should let your doctors know.
Popular Resources
A quick primer on the different ways breast cancer can be treated.
Diet and digestion have more to do with cancer prevention than you may realize
From mammograms to personal hygiene, learn the truth about these deadly breast cancer rumors.
Breast cancer is not an inevitability. From what you eat and drink to how much you exercise, learn what you can do to slash your risk.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.