Radiation therapy for Male Breast Cancer

Radiation therapy is a highly targeted, highly effective way to destroy cancer cells that may linger after surgery. This reduces the risk of recurrence.

Radiation to the breast is often given after breast-conserving surgery to help lower the chance that the cancer will come back in the breast or nearby lymph nodes. This is needed less often for men with breast cancer than it is for women, mainly because breast-conserving surgery (BCS) isn’t done as much.

Radiation is usually given after mastectomy in men with:

  • large cancers (5 centimeters or bigger)
  • a positive margin of resection (when the cancer comes very close to or is at the edge of the breast tissue removed)
  • a significant area of lymphatic or blood vessel involvement
  • significant lymph node involvement (four or more positive nodes)

After mastectomy, radiation therapy is usually given 5 days a week for about 5-7 weeks.

Radiation can also be used for men with advanced (metastatic) disease to relieve symptoms or help avoid complications from specific areas of spread. For example, radiation can help relieve painful bone metastases, decrease the risk of breaking a bone that’s been weakened by cancer, decrease bleeding from skin involvement, and reduce neurological symptoms if the cancer puts pressure on nerves or the spinal cord.

When given after surgery, radiation therapy is usually not started until the tissues have been able to heal for about a month. If chemotherapy is to be given as well, radiation therapy is usually delayed until chemotherapy is complete.


External beam radiation

Possible side effects of Radiation Therapy



Chemotherapy for breast cancer in men

Hormone therapy for breast cancer in men

Targeted therapy for breast cancer in men

Bone-directed therapy for breast cancer in men



Coping and support for male breast cancer


Related Topics

Benign breast conditions

General breast cancer terms

Types of breast cancer in men








Oncologists, Breast Surgeons are the specialists who deal with the breast cancer