Lower Overall Survival for Men Than Women With Breast Cancer

However, men have better relative survival, adjusted for age, treatment, and stage, than women

TUESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Male patients with breast cancer have later onset and more advanced disease, and worse overall survival than female patients, according to a study published online Oct. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Hui Miao, M.D., from the National University of Singapore, and colleagues investigated the risk and outcome of male breast cancer in relation to female breast cancer. Gender-based trends in incidence rates, relative survival, and relative excess mortality were compared in 459,846 women and 2,665 men diagnosed with breast cancer over a period of 40 years.

The investigators found that the world-standardized incidence rates of breast cancer per 105 person-years were 0.40 in men and 66.7 in women, with women diagnosed at a younger median age than men (61.7 versus 69.6 years). The five-year relative survival ratio was poorer for male patients than for female patients (relative survival ratio, 0.72 and 0.78, respectively), which corresponded to a relative excess risk (RER) of 1.27. After adjusting for stage, treatment, age, and year of diagnosis, relative survival was significantly better in male than female patients (RER, 0.78).

"The poorer observed survival of male patients is largely explained by their more advanced stage at diagnosis, their higher age at diagnosis, and less standard locoregional treatment. After adjusting for these factors, men actually had better relative survival than women," the authors write.

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