Breast cancer has typically been seen as a disease that affects women, but that is not the case. Men across the world are inflicted with breast cancer as well.
Are cases of men with breast cancer on the rise?
How are they coping with it?
CBS news reports on men with breast cancer. Recent statistics show that more and more men are being diagnosed with breast cancer and the way they are treating it might surprise many.
A new study shows that there has been a drastic rise in the number of American men with cancer in one breast. How are they electing to treat it? More and more of these men are opting to remove their breasts, the cancerous breast as well as the un-infected breast.
This trend has been the case with American women for a great deal of time now. But this is the first study to show that men have also started this trend.
Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, vice president of surveillance and health services research at the American Cancer Society, led the study. He said, “The increase in the rate of this costly, serious procedure with no evidence of survival benefit comes, paradoxically, at a time of greater emphasis on quality and value in cancer care.”
How was the study conducted?
The researchers wanted a comprehensive study so they included more than 6,300 men who had surgery for cancer in one breast. The surgeries looked at in the study occurred between 2004 and 2011.
The study found that the percentage of men who also had their cancer-free breast removed rose from 3 percent in 2004 to 5.6 percent in 2011. The patients who were most likely to have their cancer-free breast removed were younger, white and privately insured, according to the study. The results were published online on September 2nd in the journal JAMA Surgery.
Dr. Jemal further said in a journal news release that,
“Health care providers should be aware that the increase we've seen in removal of the unaffected breast is not limited to women, and doctors should carefully discuss with their male patients the benefits, harms and costs of this surgery to help patients make informed decisions about their treatments.”
Statistics show that men are around one percent of the breast cancer patients in the United States.
How many women with breast cancer have their breasts removed?
The amount of women with invasive breast cancer in one breast who have their cancer-free breast removed went up drastically from 2 percent in 1998 to 11 percent in 2011. The background information from the study shows that this is rising, despite the threat of complications and a lack of evidence that it improves the odds of survival.