Everyone is born with a small amount of breast tissue. During puberty, women begin developing more breast tissue and men do not. Though breast cancer is most commonly thought of a disease that affects women, breast cancer does occur in men. While male breast cancer is a rare cancer, 1 in 8 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. It is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S. That's why education, early detection and treatment is so important.
Early detection saves lives
Undiagnosed breast cancer can lead to serious complications and even death. In addition to a new lump, other general warning signs of breast cancer for both men and women may include visual changes to your breast such as thickening; swelling; shift in shape or size; dimpling, puckering redness or scaling of the breast skin; and changes in the nipple or discharge. Regular breast self-exams are a good way to get to know your breasts so that you can identify if your breasts change outside of your annual mammogram. Learn how to conduct a breast self-exam.
In addition to regular breast self-exams, a mammogram, or X-ray of the breast, is the most accurate method available to detect breast disease when no symptoms exist. Consider using your birthday as a reminder to celebrate good health by scheduling a mammogram. Mayo Clinic physicians and the American Cancer Society recommend women have an annual breast screening, beginning at 40. Your provider will let you know if you should be screened more or less frequently based on your health history.
Note: While COVID-19 vaccines can cause swollen lymph nodes under the arm where the vaccination was administered, this is no reason to delay getting a mammogram. Learn more about COVID-19 mammogram recommendations.
Breast cancer care
If have received a breast cancer diagnosis, you may be feeling a wide range of emotions. Regain your peace of mind and get back to life sooner with comprehensive breast cancer care at Mayo Clinic Health System. We will help you and your family through every step of the journey — physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your care plan is a shared journey and our care team stays personally involved at every step. This powerful collaboration, paired with the most advanced diagnostic and therapy technology, gives you an innovative, highly effective treatment plan to bring the best possible outcomes.