Editorials

Breast cancer in men

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7409.239 (Published 31 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:239
  1. George H Perkins (gperkins@mdanderson.org), assistant professor of radiation oncology,
  2. Lavinia P Middleton (lpmiddleton@mdanderson.org), assistant professor of surgical pathology
  1. Breast Radiation Oncology Service, Nelly B Connelly Breast Cancer Center Research Program, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston TX, 77030 USA
  2. Breast Pathology Service

    Treatment is based on results extrapolated from trials for women with breast cancer

    Breast cancer in men is a rare disease that accounts for less than 1% of all cancers in men and less than 1% of all diagnosed breast cancers.1 It is a diagnosis for which optimal management is not clearly established and treatment guidelines are scarce. The medical literature regarding breast cancer in men consists mainly of case-control and retrospective studies, and there are no randomised prospective data for this disease. Recent emphasis therefore has been placed on extrapolating data derived from studies of breast cancer in women and using those data as a benchmark for treating men—what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    This year in the United States more than 1600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. By comparison, over 200 000 women will receive the same diagnosis.1 An estimated 500 men will die from breast cancer compared with over 40 000 women.1 These facts show the lower incidence of breast cancer in men …

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