Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Is Breast Cancer Screening Effective in High-Risk Men?

By: Sara Tewksbury
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Screening for breast cancer with mammography may prove to be effective in detecting the disease in men who are at high risk. The findings of this analysis, conducted by Yiming Gao, MD, of New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center, and colleagues, were published in Radiology.

“Our findings show the potential of mammography in screening men at high risk for breast cancer and in detecting the disease well before it has spread to other parts of the body,” said Dr. Gao in an NYU press release. “In general, men need to be more aware of their risk factors for breast cancer and that they, too, can develop the disease,” added coauthor Samantha Heller, MD, PhD, also of NYU Langone Health.

The study looked at male breast imaging examinations over a 12-year period from 2005 to 2017. It involved 1,869 men who underwent 2,052 examinations; 2,304 breast lesions were found, with 149 biopsies performed in 33 men. A total of 41 of the lesions were malignant, and 108 were benign.

Mammographic screening sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of biopsy were 100%, 95%, and 50%, respectively. Factors found to be associated with breast cancer were older age (P < .001), Ashkenazi descent (P < .001), genetic mutations (P = .006), personal history (P < .001), and first-degree family history (P = .03).

“With increasing numbers of women and men seeking genetic counseling for breast cancer, there is a need for advice to both men and women about their actual risk and guidance about the best screening practices to make sure if they do get the disease, that it is detected and treated early,” stated Dr. Gao.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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