Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Largest study of its kind finds male breast cancer on the rise

24.05.2004


Men don’t recognize their disease until a late stage



The rate of male breast cancer is on the rise and the disease in men is usually detected when the tumors are bigger, have spread and may be more aggressive, compared to diagnosis of the disease in women, concludes the largest study ever conducted of male breast cancer.

The findings, published today in the online edition CANCER and will appear in the July 1 print issue of the publication, suggest both that breast cancer in men may have some important biological differences from the female disease, and that men are seemingly less aware than they should be that they can develop breast cancer.


According to the study’s lead investigator, Sharon H. Giordano, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the incidence of the disease has increased significantly in the last 25 years, from .86 to 1.08 per 100,000 men.

"Male breast cancer is rare, accounting for less than one percent of all breast cancer, or about 1,600 new cases in the United States in 2004. While, it’s not as high of an increase in cases as that in women, men should be alert to the possibility that the disease could affect them," says Giordano.

Because breast cancer in men is rare, little is known about how it differs from breast cancer in women and how it should be best treated. To assess dissimilarity, Giordano and her M. D. Anderson colleagues used information from a National Cancer Institute database called SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results), which is the authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States.

They analyzed SEER data from 1973 through 1998 on 2,524 cases of male breast cancer and 380,856 cases of female breast cancer. Compared to female patients, the investigators found that male patients were significantly older when diagnosed - 67 years versus 62 years of age. They were also more likely to have later stage disease and had more spread of the cancer to their lymph nodes.

"It’s perhaps ironic that tumors in men are easier to feel than they are in women, yet the disease is being discovered at a later stage in men than in women," says Giordano.

One reason for such a late diagnosis may be that men assume they are experiencing a benign condition called gynecomastia, or atypical growth of breast tissue that affects about a third of males at some point in their lives, says Giordano. The condition, common in adolescent boys, can come and go over a man’s lifetime and "men may think new growth of breast tissue is just another occurrence of this condition," she explains.

Furthermore, Giordano and the researchers found that the most common types of cancers in men were invasive ductal carcinoma, found in 93.4 percent of the men, and papillary carcinoma, which accounted for 2.6 percent of the cases.

Yet despite these differences, five-year, 10-year and median survival were not different between men and women, investigators say.

Also of interest to the researchers was the finding that male patients are more likely than female patients to have estrogen receptor-positive tumors.

"We are not sure why this is so, but it may indicate some important differences in tumor biology," she says. "In addition, this implies that use of tamoxifen in men may be as beneficial as it is to many women," says Giordano.

"Now that we have a clearer understanding of the biology of breast cancer in men, further research is needed to determine the optimal treatment for men," she says.

Laura Sussman | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>