Outcome of male breast cancer: a matched single-institution series

Clin Breast Cancer. 2014 Oct;14(5):371-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clbc.2014.02.008. Epub 2014 Mar 1.


Background: Breast cancer occurs rarely in men, accounting for approximately 1% of all breast carcinomas. Data on prognosis principally derive from retrospective studies and from extrapolation of female breast cancer series.

Patients and methods: A total of 99 men with invasive breast cancer were matched with 198 women with breast cancer who had surgery at the same institution from 1999 to 2010. Matching variables were year of surgery, age, primary tumor size, nodal involvement, hormone receptor status, status of HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [ERBB2]), Ki-67, and grade. Median follow-up was 8.6 years.

Results: Disease-free survival (DFS) was significantly poorer in the men (10-year DFS, 51.7% vs. 66.5%; hazard ratio [HR], 1.79; 95% CI, 1.19-2.68; P = .004). Similar results were observed for overall survival (OS) (10-year OS, 70.7% vs. 84.2%; HR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.01-3.15; P = .043). The cumulative incidence of death for causes not related to the primary breast cancer was significantly higher for men than for women (HR, 2.87; 95% CI, 1.58-5.22; P = .001), whereas the breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) was similar between the 2 groups (10-year BCSS, 81.5% vs. 88%; HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 0.62-2.59; P = .517).

Conclusion: This comparative series found that men with breast cancer had a poorer DFS and OS when compared with women. The men also had a higher risk of contralateral tumors and second primaries. Appropriate counseling, surveillance, and prevention are recommended to improve survival for these individuals.

Keywords: Counseling; Men; Prevention; Second primaries; Survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / mortality*
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Mastectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Radiotherapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor