Male Breast Cancer: An Updated Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Data Analysis

Ning Liu, Kimberly J. Johnson, Cynthia X. Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Whether the survival prognosis of male breast cancer differs from that of female breast cancer remains unclear. The present study used the recently updated Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data to compare the breast cancer survival outcomes between the sexes at a population level and found a significant disadvantage for the male patients. This finding suggests a need to develop male-specific treatment strategies in breast cancer. Background: Male breast cancer is rare and understudied compared with female breast cancer. A current comparison with female breast cancer could assist in bridging this gap. Although conflicting data have been reported on male and female survival outcomes, data from 1973 through 2005 in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program have demonstrated that the improvement in breast cancer survival in men has fallen behind that of women. As treatment for breast cancer has improved significantly, an updated analysis using a contemporary population is necessary. Materials and Methods: An analysis of SEER data from patients with a diagnosis of primary breast cancer from 2005 to 2010 were included. A Cox regression model was used to examine the association between sex and breast cancer mortality after controlling for prognostic factors, including age, race, marital status, disease stage, estrogen and progesterone receptor status, lymph node involvement, tumor grade, surgery, and geography. Subgroup analyses were performed by race and stage. Results: We included a total of 289,673 breast cancer cases (2054 men) with a diagnosis from 2005 to 2010. The 5-year survival rate for male patients was lower than that for female patients (82.8% vs. 88.5%). After controlling for other factors, the risk of death in men was 43% greater than that in women during the follow-up period (hazard ratio, 1.43; 95% confidence interval, 1.26-1.61). Similar results were noted in the race and stage subgroup analyses. Conclusion: In recent years, male breast cancer patients have had worse survival outcomes compared with those of female patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e997-e1002
JournalClinical breast cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Breast cancer survival
  • Disparity
  • Prognosis
  • SEER
  • Treatment


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