Study: Male breast cancer rare but can be aggressive

October 19, 2011 08:34

Oct 19 - Men are diagnosed with breast cancer at less than one percent the rate of women, but when they are the disease is often more advanced on average, and they are more likely to die from it, according to an international study.

Researchers led by Mikael Hartman at the National University of Singapore combined cancer registries from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Singapore and Geneva, Switzerland, with cases dating back to 1970.

The data included about 460,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 2,700 men.

Men were more likely to have the disease that had spread beyond the breast by the time they were diagnosed. In treatment, they had less surgery and radiation than women but similar rates of chemotherapy and hormone treatment.

Over the entire time period, men had a 72 percent chance of surviving breast cancer in the five years after a diagnosis, compared to 78 percent in women.

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