When you’re told that you have breast cancer, it’s natural to wonder what may have caused the disease. But no one knows the exact causes of breast cancer. Doctors seldom know why one woman develops breast cancer and another doesn’t, and most women who have breast cancer will never be able to pinpoint an exact cause. What we do know is that breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cell's DNA.
Rates of breast cancer incidence (new cases, including new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors) and mortality (death) are much lower among men than among women. For example, in 2010 (most recent data available):
Survival rates for men are about the same as for women with the same stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis. However, men are usually diagnosed at a later stage because they are less likely to report symptoms. Learn more about the symptoms of breast cancer in men.
Treatment for men is the same as treatment for women and usually includes a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or targeted therapy. Learn more about treatment for breast cancer in men.