Male breast cancer: a population-based comparison with female breast cancer in Hong Kong, Southern China: 1997-2006

Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Apr;21(4):1246-53. doi: 10.1245/s10434-013-3377-8. Epub 2013 Dec 12.


Background: Male breast cancer (MBC) is uncommon. As a result, there is limited availability of studies and reviews and even fewer reports from Asia. This is the largest population-based study to compare Chinese MBC patients with female patients during a 10-year period in Hong Kong, Southern China.

Methods: A retrospective review of medical records of 132 male and 8,118 female breast cancer patients between year 1997 and 2006 in Hong Kong was performed. Each MBC patient was matched with three female breast cancer patients for further analysis. Different characteristics, overall, breast-cancer specific, and disease-free survivals (DFS) were compared.

Results: Mean age at diagnosis of male and female patients was 64.5 and 52.7 years respectively. Male patients showed lower histological grade, overall stage, smaller tumor size, and more positive sensitivity in hormone receptors. They were more likely to die of causes other than breast cancer. Matched analysis found that the 5-year overall survival (OS), breast-cancer-specific mortality, and DFS for male and female patients were 78.7, 90.5, 90.5, and 77.9, 86.4, and 81.4 % respectively. Male patients had poorer OS at early overall stage but better breast-cancer-specific mortality rates at any age (p < 0.01). Male patients had a significant risk of dying due to any cause in the presence of distant relapse and had less risk of dying when tumor was ER-positive and HER2-positive.

Conclusions: Chinese male breast cancer patients tend to have poorer OS but better breast-cancer-specific survival compared with their female counterparts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors