Research Gives new Insight into Male Breast Cancer

Research Gives new Insight into Male Breast Cancer


The results of a study entitled EORTC10085/TBCRC/BIG/NABCG, conducted by the International Male Breast Cancer Program was recently presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. This research gives us new insight into the male form of this disease. In fact, the presenters said that male survival rate from such cancer has improved significantly, while female breast cancer has not seen the same dramatic rise in treatment outcomes. 1,822 male participants who underwent breast cancer treatment between 1990 and 2010 took part in this study. Breast cancer in men is rare, affecting less than 1% of all cancer diagnoses in the gender. Though not common, it is often deadly. Almost 25% of diagnosed cases in 2013 were terminal. What’s more, medical science doesn’t know a lot about male breast cancer, yet. In fact, no randomized clinical trials existed previous to this study. Researchers discovered that male breast cancer was far different than the female variety. Though it is dangerous, investigators found that the male kind was also less well managed.

Shirtless man suffering a heart attack

Though research shows that many men would benefit from a type of hormone therapy, only 77% received it. Just over 50% of men were found to have tumors which were very small. Yet, only 4% received breast-conserving surgery. Most had mastectomies which can seriously affect a patient’s quality of life, sexuality and self-esteem. Researchers now know that 99% of male breast cancer patients should be receptive to hormone therapy. Radiation therapy may also be beneficial in the later stages of the disease. During the next leg of this research project, an international male breast cancer registry will be set up. For 30 months all participating medical organizations will submit data to the registry. Prospective participants can also be culled from these lists. If you are a man who finds an unusual lump in the breast tissue, itchiness, pain, swollen glands or a growth or discoloration in that area, have a physician take a look at it. Though many men feel upset or ashamed if they find out they have breast cancer, the earlier the disease it caught the better the treatment options and outcomes. You can survive a gentle ribbing from friends and colleagues, but not cancer. The truth is you won’t believe how many people will be understanding and supportive of your condition.

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