Mammographic appearances of male breast disease

Alan H. Appelbaum, Gregory F F Evans, Karen R. Levy, Robin H. Amirkhan, Terence D. Schumpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Various male breast diseases have characteristic mammographic appearances that can be correlated with their pathologic diagnoses. Male breast cancer is usually subareolar and eccentric to the nipple. Margins of the lesions are more frequently well defined, and calcifications are rarer and coarser than those occurring in female breast cancer. Gynecomastia usually appears as a fan-shaped density emanating from the nipple, gradually blending into surrounding fat. It may have prominent extensions into surrounding fat and, in some cases, an appearance similar to that of a heterogeneously dense female breast. Although there are characteristic mammographic features that allow breast cancer in men to be recognized, there is substantial overlap between these features and the mammographic appearance of benign nodular lesions. The mammographic appearance of gynecomastia is not similar to that of male breast cancer, but in rare cases, it can mask malignancy. Gynecomastia can be mimicked by chronic inflammation. All mammographically lucent lesions of the male breast appear to be benign, similar to such lesions in the female breast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-568
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Breast neoplasms, male, 05.329
  • Breast, diseases, 00.731, 00.744, 05.75

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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