Male breast cancer patients have better disease-specific survival than carefully matched female breast cancer patients.
Patients and Methods
Each man in the breast cancer database at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (New York, NY) between the years 1980 and 1998 was matched with a woman. Matching was done based on age and date of diagnosis, stage, and primary histologic findings.
Main Outcome Measures
The overall survivals and disease-specific survivals of the male breast cancer group and female breast cancer group were compared.
Fifty-three male patients were matched with an equal number of female breast cancer patients. The Kaplan-Meier curves demonstrated that there was no significant difference in overall survival. The 5- and 10-year survivals for women were 0.77 and 0.51, and for men 0.77 and 0.56. When the Kaplan-Meier curves for breast cancer–specific survival were compared, however, there was a significant difference in the 5- and 10-year survivals (P = .05, log-rank test). For women, the 5- and 10-year disease-specific survival was 0.81 and 0.7, respectively, while for men it was 0.9 and 0.9, respectively. In a Cox regression analysis for time to death from breast cancer, stage was the only predictor of death that approached significance (P = .06).
While the overall survivals were equivalent, male breast cancer patients had significantly better disease-specific survivals compared with their female counterparts. Male patients were 4 times more likely to die of other causes than their breast cancer.