Original Article

Features, Outcomes, and Management Strategies of Male Breast Cancer: A Single Institution Comparison to Well-Matched Female Controls


  • Joseph Liu
  • Anupama Suresh
  • Marilly Palettas
  • Julie Stephens
  • Akaansha Ganju
  • Evan Morgan
  • Mahmoud Kassem
  • Yanjun Hou
  • Anil Parwani
  • Anne Noonan
  • Raquel Reinbolt
  • Jeffrey VanDeusen
  • Sagar Sardesai
  • Nicole Williams
  • Mathew Cherian
  • Gary Tozbikian
  • Daniel G. Stover
  • Maryam Lustberg
  • Zaibo Li
  • Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy
  • Robert Wesolowski

Received Date: 24.02.2020 Accepted Date: 19.04.2020 Eur J Breast Health 2020;16(3):201-207


The primary objective of this study was to delineate differences in management, overall and distant disease-free survival in males diagnosed with breast cancer and treated at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center as compared to comprehensively matched female subjects. Secondary objectives included assessment of clinical and histopathologic features and recurrence score, as measured by Oncotype DX and the modified Magee equation #2.

Materials and Methods:

This single institution retrospective study compared male and comprehensively matched female patients (1:2) with stage I-III breast cancer between 1994 and 2014. Recurrence risk was estimated using a modified Magee equation. Overall survival and distant disease-free survival were estimated and compared using Kaplan-Meier and Log-rank methods.


Forty-five male breast cancer patients were included (stage I: 26.7%; stage II: 53.3%; stage III: 20.0%; hormone receptor positive: 97.8%; human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative: 84.4%) with a median age of 63.8 (43.0-79.4) years at diagnosis. Intermediate and low recurrence scores were most common in male and female patients respectively; mean score was similar between groups (20.3 vs. 19.8). The proportion of male breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and post-mastectomy radiation was lower compared to female patients (42.2% vs. 65.3%, p=0.013; 22.7% vs. 44.4%, p=0.030, respectively). Overall survival and distant disease-free survival between male and female patients were similar.


Male breast cancer patient outcomes were similar compared to well-matched female patients suggesting that breast cancer specific factors are more prognostic than gender.

Keywords: Male breast cancer, matched-pair analysis, rare disease, recurrence score, survival analysis