Breast cancer has long been viewed as a disease that strikes women, but when it does hit men, the results can be much more fatal because many men fail to recognize symptoms, according to the Associated Press.
Women with breast cancer were found to live two years longer than men, according to Dr. Jon Greif, a California breast surgeon, who last Friday presented his study at a meeting of American Society of Breast Surgeons in Phoenix, Ariz.
Findings also showed that men’s breast tumors were larger at diagnosis, more advanced, and more likely to have spread to other parts of the body. Men were also diagnosed later in life; in the study, they men were 63 years old on average, versus 59 years old for women.
The researchers analyzed 10 years of national data on breast cancer cases, from 1998 to 2007. A total of 13,457 male patients diagnosed during those years were included, versus 1.4 million women. The database contains about 75 percent of all U.S. breast cancer cases, the AP reports.
Dr. Jacqueline Miller, medical director of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) national breast and cervical cancer early detection program in Atlanta, was not surprised by the findings, she told NewsOne:
Many men do not realize they, too, can get breast cancer.
“Breast cancer is a rare disease to develop in men,” she said. “To give you context, it is likely to be detected in 120 per 100,000 women and 1.5 per 100,000 men. Men may not have any initial symptoms, and because of that, more cases may be diagnosed at a later stage, which is why you will see higher death rates in men.”
He points to male breast cancer survivor Richard Roundtree, who is best known for his iconic role as “John Shaft,” who was the personification of male strength and masculinity in the ‘70s-era “Shaft” movies. Because the disease is rare in men, Roundtree has said the he was in the closet so-to-speak until he was cancer-free.
According to the American Cancer Society, men need to know the possible symptoms of breast cancer to…