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Use of Mammograms in Men

don’t need a mammogram, and that is good news for them.”

In this study, researchers retrospectively reviewed the records of all men who had a mammogram at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville from 2001 to 2004. A total of 212 mammograms were performed on 198 patients. The researchers said only three men were diagnosed with breast cancer, and of these, all three men had an obvious mass in the breast that could be felt on physical exam, or had changes, such as retracted skin or nipple, that are associated with tumor development. In one of the three men, the mammogram showed a mass initially diagnosed as benign that was later discovered to be cancerous.

However, the researchers found that 83 percent of the men who had mammograms and had been diagnosed with gynecomastia were taking a medication, or had a medical condition, that could predispose them to developing breast swelling.

“Men who have gynecomastia rarely have a breast tumor,” says Dr. Hines. “Physicians should be able to determine if their male patients have developed gynecomastia by performing a thorough examination and taking a good medical history,” she says. “Mammography may still be necessary if there is uncertainty about the clinical diagnosis. But it is not necessary to confirm gynecomastia through a mammogram.”

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