Male breast cancer patients see lower survival rates than women

Though rare, breast cancer does occur in men. Residents of New Jersey should know that it is, in fact, on the rise with some 1.21 per 100,000 men in the U.S. suffering from it in 2016 (compared to 0.85 per 100,000 men in 1975). Even more unfortunate is that male breast cancer patients tend to experience lower survival rates than women do.

A study published in JAMA Oncology has found that this trend holds even when factors like clinical predictors and socioeconomic status were taken into account. One reason for this disparity is the difference in treatments. For instance, many of the male patients who can benefit from endocrine therapy do not receive it.

Endocrine therapy is effective for those who are hormone-receptor positive, meaning people whose tumors grow in response to estrogen or progesterone. Endocrine therapy involves drugs that can help stop hormones from making the tumors grow. Yet one study found that of the 84.5% of men who were hormone-receptor positive, only 57.9% received this treatment. By comparison, 70.2% of the women who were hormone-receptor positive received it.

Other factors exist. Men do not regularly check their breasts, and those who suspect breast cancer may be too ashamed to follow up with a doctor. Others may refuse the tamoxifen regimen because of certain undesirable side effects.

In other cases, though, men may be left dealing with late-stage breast cancer because of a doctor error at the diagnostic stage. When misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses lead to the worsening of a condition, victims may be compensated for their medical bills, pain and suffering and other losses. This requires demonstrating that the doctor failed to live up to an objective standard of care. With a lawyer, victims may be able to present a strong case and achieve a fair settlement.