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Recent Trends in Male Breast Cancer

Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Men with breast cancer tend to have higher rates of hormone receptor–positive tumors but seem to be less likely to receive adjuvant hormonal therapy. This is one of several findings reported by Esther Dubrovsky, MD, of the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Based on the results of their National Cancer Data Base analysis of trends in male breast cancer from 2004 to 2009 and 2010 to 2014, the investigators found a significant trend over time toward more standard therapies in men, such as postlumpectomy radiation and hormonal therapy, although disparities in outcomes between male and female patients with breast cancer still warrant further study.

Of the 2,047,868 breast cancer cases, 19,409 men (0.95%) were included in the analysis. The group of patients with metastatic breast cancer from 2004 to 2009 included 9,790 men and from 2010 to 2014 included 9,619 men.

Several of the key study findings are highlighted here:

  • In the 2010 to 2014 group, there was a decreased rate of ductal carcinoma in situ, an increased rate of invasive ductal carcinoma, and an increased rate of hormone receptor–positive tumors.
  • Patients in the 2010 to 2014 group were more likely to receive adjuvant hormonal therapy than those in the earlier group (2004–2009; 61% vs. 84%, P<.0001).
  • Improvement in overall survival in men mirrored that in women: In the earlier group, overall survival for male versus female patients was 66% versus 77%. In the 2010 to 2014 group, overall survival for male versus female patients was 84% versus 90%.