Clinicopathologic Features and Radiation Therapy Utilization in Patients with Male Breast Cancer: A National Cancer Database Study

Joshua Weir, Yan Daniel Zhao, Terence Herman, Özer Algan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Male breast cancer (MBC) accounts for approximately 1% of all breast cancers, limiting the data characterizing clinicopathologic features and treatment outcomes in patients with MBC. This paucity of data has led to most of our treatment guidance being extrapolated from patients with female breast cancer (FBC). From 1998 to 2012, data were captured using the National Cancer Database to identify patients with nonmetastatic MBC (n = 23 305) and FBC (n = 2 678 061). Tumor and clinicopathologic features were obtained and compared. Patients with MBC were more likely to have invasive disease, T2-4 tumors, centrally located tumors, positive lymph nodes, estrogen receptor–positive or progesterone receptor–positive tumors, lymphovascular space invasion, and were less likely to have Her2/neu-positive or triple-negative tumors. All of these differences were statistically significant (P <.001). Treatment comparisons showed that patients with MBC were more likely to undergo mastectomy and less likely to undergo breast-conserving surgery with postoperative radiation utilization found to be less in patients with MBC, both as part of breast-conserving therapy (BCT) and for postmastectomy radiation treatment (PMRT) (P <.001). Stage-by-stage comparisons showed that median survival, 5-year, and 10-year overall survival (OS) rates are lower in patients with MBC vs patients with FBC (P <.001). The utilization of adjuvant radiation, both BCT and PMRT, was shown to improve 5- and 10-year OS (P <.001). Male breast cancer clinicopathologic features appear to be unfavorable in relation to FBC and adjuvant radiation is shown beneficial in survival outcomes. Further investigation is needed to help guide future utilization and treatment with radiation, systemic, and endocrine manipulation in this small population of patients with MBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBreast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research
StatePublished - Apr 19 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • breast cancer
  • clinical features
  • Male breast cancer
  • radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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