Breast cancer is generally seen as a disease common to women, but it can also afflict men, albeit rarely. But when men do have it, however, it is often deadlier, as determined by a recent study.
Men who develop breast cancer often do not survive as long as women who have the disease, primarily because the cancer is detected at a later stage. This may be because breast is cancer is a disease that is associated too much with women that most men do not realize that they can get it, and are not as sensitive to the warning signs.
The study determined that breast tumors in men are larger at diagnosis, more advanced, and more likely to have spread to other parts of the body. They are also diagnosed later in life, at an average age of 63, compared to 59 years old in women.
Dr. David Winchester, a breast cancer surgeon in NorthShore University HealthSystem in suburban Chicago who was not involved in the study, shared: “It’s not really been on the radar screen to think about breast cancer in men.”
The study involved an analysis of 10 years of national data on breast cancer cases, from 1998 to 2007. The data included those from 13,457 male patients diagnosed during that time period, in a database that contains about 75 percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States.
The study, described as the biggest study yet on breast cancer in men, also found that women with breast cancer lived two years longer than men with the disease.