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Cancer. 1999 Feb 1;85(3):629-39.

Male breast carcinoma: a review of 229 patients who presented to the Princess Margaret Hospital during 40 years: 1955-1996.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, The Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



A single-institution review of clinical presentation, treatment, and outcome of male breast carcinoma was conducted.


Data obtained by chart review of 229 cases were analyzed with respect to clinical presentation, treatment choice, significant prognostic factors, and survival. The patients were analyzed both as a single cohort and as four cohorts grouped according to decade of diagnosis.


Presentation occurred at a median age of 63 years, most often with a self-detected lump. Pathology consisted of subtypes similar to those of female breast carcinoma. The majority of tumors were larger than 2 cm in greatest dimension. Lymph node status, hormone receptors, and histologic and nuclear grade were underreported. Primary, adjuvant, and advanced disease treatment practices were reviewed over time. The 5-year disease free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), and local control were 47%, 53%, and 91%, respectively. No difference in outcome by decade of diagnosis was observed. Negative lymph nodes and adjuvant hormone treatment predicted for better DFS and OS. Younger age and Stage 0 also predicted for better OS.


Compared with data from female breast carcinoma patients, 5-year OS for this series was low; however, when these patients were separated by lymph node status, survival was similar for those with axillary lymph node metastases. Despite a change in standard primary surgical treatment and an increased use of chemotherapy and hormone therapy over the study period, no difference in outcome was observed among these males. In the absence of prospective, randomized clinical trials, collection of comprehensive data on the presentation and management of male breast carcinoma may help to optimize clinical care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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