Fewer men get breast cancer—but more cases are fatal compared to women

Men make up nearly 1% of all breast cancer cases in the U.S., but their mortality rate is drastically higher compared to women diagnosed with the disease.

STAT recently reported on a study that analyzed mortality data from more than 1.8 million female patients and 16,025 men who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Men had a 19% higher mortality rate compared to women, and the lack of male representation in the study further highlighted the gender disparity associated with the disease, according to STAT reporter Alexander Spinelli.

“Breast cancer isn’t just a disease for females,” said Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at Vanderbilt and senior author of the study. “Men diagnosed with breast cancer have a worse survival rate, and we don’t understand the exact reason for the disparity.”

While there is no single reason, Shu explained that men don’t always get checked for the disease. Improving awareness and educational efforts can help reduce the stigma surrounding breast cancer in men, Shu added.

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