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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2013 Jan;43(1):22-7. doi: 10.1093/jjco/hys193. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Male breast cancers behave differently in elderly patients.

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Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, 34098 Istanbul, Turkey.



The aim of this study was to evaluate tumor characteristics, management and survival in elderly male breast cancer patients in comparison with younger men.


We reviewed medical records of 99 male breast cancer patients between 1972 and 2011. The median age of the patients was 64.5 years. Patient characteristics including clinicopathologic factors, treatment modalities, survival and prognostic factors were evaluated. Patients were subdivided into two groups according to their age (young, <65 years; old, ≥ 65 years) and compared based on these factors.


Elderly male breast cancer patients had larger tumors in more advanced stages at the time of diagnosis compared with younger patients. In spite of the larger tumors at presentation, older patients had tumors with more favorable biological characteristics, such as higher ratio of estrogen and progesterone receptor expression. Ten-year cancer-specific survival for older patients was 49.2% compared with 55.8% in younger men (P = 0.8). Prognostic factors influencing overall survival in univariate analysis were: the presence of metastatic axillary lymph nodes (P = 0.0001), T stage (P = 0.001) and age ≥ 65 years. Multivariate analysis indicated T stage (P = 0.008) and N stage (P = 0.038) as the significant negative prognostic factors for overall survival. Although surgery, radiotherapy and hormone therapy were equally utilized in old and young patients, old patients were less likely to receive adjuvant chemotherapy.


Our study demonstrated the differences in the clinical and biological characteristics of male breast cancer according to the age of the patients.

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