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What are the risk factors for breast cancer in men?



A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. For example, exposing skin to strong sunlight is a risk factor for skin cancer. Smoking is a risk factor for cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx (voice box), bladder, kidney, and several other organs.
But risk factors don't tell us everything. Having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. Some men with one or more breast cancer risk factors never develop the disease, while most men with breast cancer have no apparent risk factors. Even when someone has a risk factor, there is no way to prove that it actually caused the cancer.
We don't yet completely understand the causes of breast cancer in men, but researchers have found several factors that may increase the risk of getting it. As with female breast cancer, many of these factors are related to sex hormone levels in the body.

Aging

Aging is an important risk factor for the development of breast cancer in men. The risk of breast cancer goes up as a man ages. Men with breast cancer are on average about 68 years old when they are diagnosed.

Family history of breast cancer

Breast cancer risk is increased if other members of the family (blood relatives) have had breast cancer. About 1 out of 5 men with breast cancer have close male or female relatives with the disease.

Inherited gene mutations

A mutation (change) in the BRCA2 gene, which is responsible for some breast cancers in women, probably accounts for about 1 in10 breast cancers in men. BRCA1 mutations can also cause breast cancer in men, but the risk is not as high as it is for mutations in the BRCA2 gene. People with these mutations typically have a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Cancers in these families often occur in people younger (under 60) than the usual age.
Other mutations that may be responsible for some breast cancers in men include those in genes called CHEK2 and PTEN.
A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. For example, exposing skin to strong sunlight is a risk factor for skin cancer. Smoking is a risk factor for cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx (voice box), bladder, kidney, and several other organs.
But risk factors don't tell us everything. Having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. Some men with one or more breast cancer risk factors never develop the disease, while most men with breast cancer have no apparent risk factors. Even when someone has a risk factor, there is no way to prove that it actually caused the cancer.
We don't yet completely understand the causes of breast cancer in men, but researchers have found several factors that may increase the risk of getting it. As with female breast cancer, many of these factors are related to sex hormone levels in the body.

Aging

Aging is an important risk factor for the development of breast cancer in men. The risk of breast cancer goes up as a man ages. Men with breast cancer are on average about 68 years old when they are diagnosed.

Family history of breast cancer

Breast cancer risk is increased if other members of the family (blood relatives) have had breast cancer. About 1 out of 5 men with breast cancer have close male or female relatives with the disease.

Inherited gene mutations

A mutation (change) in the BRCA2 gene, which is responsible for some breast cancers in women, probably accounts for about 1 in10 breast cancers in men. BRCA1 mutations can also cause breast cancer in men, but the risk is not as high as it is for mutations in the BRCA2 gene. People with these mutations typically have a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Cancers in these families often occur in people younger (under 60) than the usual age.
 
Other mutations that may be responsible for some breast cancers in men include those in genes called CHEK2 and PTEN.

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