Analysis of Knowledge About Male Breast Cancer Among Higher Education Male Students

Eur J Breast Health. 2021 Oct 4;17(4):333-340. doi: 10.4274/ejbh.galenos.2021.2021-4-6. eCollection 2021 Oct.


Objective: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, both in Brazil and worldwide. Breast cancer can also affects men but this constitutes only 1% of cases and is thus considered rare, and for this reason is little studied. Statistics indicate an increase in its incidence with an estimate of new cases in recent years. This study aims to analyze the knowledge of higher education students in relation to breast cancer in men. the knowledge of higher education students in relation to breast cancer in men.

Materials and methods: Exploratory study with a quantitative approach. 299 male students participated in the study. Data collection took place through semi-structured questionnaires, completed by students from pure science, human sciences and health at a higher education institution.

Results: Regardless of the area of undergraduate study, 65.9% of the volunteers reported not knowing about breast cancer in men. Regarding predisposing factors for the development of breast cancer, 77.3% reported not knowing about these while 68.9% reported not knowing about breast self-examination. However, 67.6% believe that breast cancer in men can be prevented. Worryingly, 62.5% reported that they only seek medical assistance when becoming ill.

Conclusion: Evidence from this study suggests that higher level undergraduates have limited knowledge about breast cancer in men. Only one third knew that male breast cancer was possible. Even smaller proportions knew of the predisposing factors for breast cancer, how to perform self-examination and about diagnosis. These latter factors, when combined with a tendency to seek medical help only when ill, suggests a short-fall in health knowledge which should be corrected.

Keywords: Breast cancer; health promotion; masculine; men’s health.