Male Breast Cancer: A Necessary Conversation

Because 99% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women, male breast cancer patients can often seem to be an overlooked population. For those men, however, the disease can not only end up being more lethal, but often carries with it a serious psychological stigma. In addition, due to the low incidence of breast cancer in males, there are very few studies being conducted that include men, and no published randomized trials at all. Until now, the lack of data meant that recommendations for male breast cancer treatment have been primarily based on studies with female patients, but on February 24, 2020, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) took the important step of publishing guidelines specific to the management of male breast cancer. While there is much still to do and learn on this front, these guidelines are an important first step.

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