Male breast cancer: a retrospective study of 15 years

J BUON. Jan-Mar 2012;17(1):51-6.


Purpose: To retrospectively evaluate the 15-year experience with breast cancer in males at a single institution.

Methods: The data from 25 male patients who had undergone surgery for breast cancer at a single center were retrospectively analysed. Their medical records were studied for clinical characteristics, therapeutic modalities used and factors associated with disease free (DFS) and overall survival (OS), like local recurrence/distant metastasis.

Results: The median patient age was 67 years (range 38-83). The most frequent presenting symptom was a palpable lump. Eighteen (72%) patients underwent modified radical mastectomy (MRM), while sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) was performed in 14 (56%) cases. Of 25 patients, 21 (84%) underwent axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) and 15 (71.4%) of them had pathological axillary lymph node involvement. Two of 25 (8%) patients with bone and liver metastases underwent toilet mastectomy due to breast ulceration. Estrogen receptor (ER) was positive in 15 (60%) patients, while progesterone receptor (PR) and C-erbB2 (HER-2) were positive in 10 (40%) and 2 (8%) patients, respectively. Ten patients (40%) had both ER(+) and PR(+). The median follow-up period was 19 months (range 3-102). Local recurrence developed in one (4%) patient and distant metastasis in 4 (16%). Five-year OS and DFS were 53 and 49%, respectively. In univariate and multivariate analysis, pathological tumor size (<2 vs. >2 cm), pathological lymph node involvement and preoperative skin involvement over the breast were not associated with breast recurrence. Only in univariate analysis local recurrence/distant metastasis were associated with poor OS.

Conclusion: Large cooperative studies are needed using strict clinical and laboratory criteria to advance the understanding of this disease and to identify the most effective treatment approaches.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / surgery
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis
  • Receptors, Progesterone / analysis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone