Are males with early breast cancer treated differently from females with early breast cancer in Australia and New Zealand?

Jim Wang, James Kollias, Claire Marsh, Guy Maddern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Breast cancer in males is much rare than in females so in practice, male breast cancer treatment is likely to follow the guidelines developed for female breast cancer patients. The objective of this study is to compare the characteristics and treatment pattern of male breast cancer patients with comparable subgroups of female breast cancer patients using data submitted to the National Breast Cancer Audit. This is a retrospective analysis of 151 male breast cancers diagnosed and treated between 2000 and 2008. Most of the male early breast cancer cases in this group were symptomatic ones in men aged > 50 years with one invasive tumour. There was a similar proportion of lymph node positive cancer among males and females, although male breast cancer was more likely to be unifocal (P = 0.007) and oestrogen receptor positive (P = 0.001). Male breast cancer patients almost always underwent mastectomy and a significant proportion of them (11%) received no surgical treatment. There were no differences in axillary surgery although males were more likely to undergo a level 2 axillary surgery and less likely to have sentinel node biopsy. Male patients were significantly less likely to undergo radiotherapy, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy for oestrogen receptor positive tumours. Conclusion: While the female oriented treatment guidelines are available, male patients with early breast cancer received different surgical and adjuvant treatment from comparable females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-381
Number of pages4
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast Cancer
  • Disparities in treatment
  • Early Breast Cancer
  • Male Breast Cancer
  • Men's health


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