Breast cancer: Mortality rates in men versus women


San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2017

San Antonio, Texas, United States | December 05-09, 2017


When we think of breast cancer, rarely do we consider the male patient, and it might be because “men are at a dramatically lower risk for breast cancer than women,” says Amy C. Degnim, MD, professor of surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.


Since it is unlikely for this patient population to undergo routine screening, biopsy, or mammograms, breast cancer cases are often diagnosed in the later stages in male patients. However, when adjusted for disease stage, males with breast cancer do not have higher mortality rates than their female counterparts.


Nonetheless, when the cancer is identified, treatment and management decisions cannot be determined based on evidence, since there isn’t such a large pool of male patients with breast cancer to gauge such standards of care.


“Because male breast cancer is less frequent than it is in females, there is a bit of a knowledge gap,” says Dr. Degmin.


Ultimately, “males who are found to have breast cancer should definitely be referred for genetic evaluation and considered for testing.”