October 7, 2019 (Medical News Today)
Although male breast cancer (MBC) accounts for only 1% of breast cancer cases, some believe that its prevalence has increased over the last few decades.
Previous research had spotted that tumor biology was different between MBC and breast cancer in women, males develop breast cancer later in life, and that the male breast cancer cells commonly travel to the lymph nodes which makes it more difficult to treat.
A recent study on MBC lead by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and published in Cancer, aimed to better understand the disease. This study was the largest of its kind and included 10,873 men diagnosed with breast cancer between 2004 and 2014. The average age of diagnosis for MBC was 64, and the most common form of therapy was radiation therapy, with 70% of those in the study receiving this form of treatment.
The research did indicate a steady increase in the rates of total and contralateral prophylactic mastectomies over the 10-year research period. This study also found that that prognosis was poorer for black men, older patients, people with additional ongoing health issues, and those with a higher tumor grade and stage.
The researchers of this study hope that it aids in guiding doctors on how to treat MBC and inspire others to do further research on this largely unknown disease.