Breast cancer in males on rise

Male breast cancer

Although it is rare, men too can get breast cancer and cases are on the rise, according to a study. Researchers at the University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center report on the survey of the disease covering more than 2,500 cases.

The researchers say it's important that men become more aware of the possibility that they may get breast cancer the study shows the incidence of the disease is up from 0.86 to 1.08 cases per 100,000 men over the last 25 years.

They also looked at more than 380,000 cases of female breast cancer for comparison. Male patients tended to be somewhat older than female patients when diagnosed with the disease. They were also more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage. This is somewhat ironic, for it is easier to detect a breast tumour in a man. But men may think that such tumours arise from a common benign condition called gynecomastia.

The most common breast tumour among males is invasive ductal carcinoma, which accounts for 93.4 per cent of cases. Men are also more likely to have estrogen-positive tumours, which means they could benefit from tamoxifen treatment. The survival rates for male and female breast cancers are similar, although the tumours may differ somewhat in their biology.

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