Family history can lead to male breast cancer?

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Question from Ben: I know that breast cancer affects way more women than men, but it's very prevalent among women on both sides of my family. Should I be worried about breast or other forms of cancer (I find I'm just feeling anxious).
Answers - Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. You are right. Breast cancer is extremely rare in men. While there will be 190,000 new cases in women in the US this year, there will only be about 1,000 cases in men. Most of the men who are at risk do come from families where there may be a hereditary predisposition to the gene. Those families are characterized by early onset of breast cancer in the 20s, 30s, or 40s. If you are concerned that you may be one of these families, you might want to discuss genetic counseling with your female relatives to determine if this may be an issue for you.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Quality of Life featured Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how breast cancer can affect physical, emotional, social, and sexual aspects of your life.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2001.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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