breast cancer in the male

Last edited 01/2022 and last reviewed 01/2022

Male breast cancer (MBC) accounts comprise about 1% of all breast cancers, world-wide. (1)

  • in UK it is the 26th most common cancer and accounts for less than 1% of male cancer cases (2)

Although the disease remains rare, anecdotal evidence suggests that the rate of male breast cancer is on the rise (3).

  • in UK
    • there were 48,788 new cases of breast cancer out of which less than 1% (371 cases) were males when compared to 48,417 women (female:male ratio of around 131:1) (2)
    • incidence of MBC is strongly related to age - between the years 2007-2009, around 65% of patients with MBC were aged 65 years and over
    • in Britain MBC incidence rates have changed very little since the late 1970s (2)
  • in the USA the current incidence is 0.86-1.08 per 100 000 men and this figure has been  on the increase alongside that of women (3)
  • among men with Klinefelter's syndrome, the incidence is comparable to that of women
  • in a South Korean study the 5-year survival rate was 73.7% (4)
    • poor prognostic factors noted were age > 65 years, > 2 comorbidities, no surgical intervention, and no tamoxifen use (4)