25th March 18:31
post-mastectomy radiotherapy should be the same for males and females (mastectomy cancer tumor breast cancer)
By David Douglas
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A study shows that men with breast cancer are
not at increased risk for relapse after mastectomy compared to women with
breast cancer and therefore should be treated using the same guidelines as
Yes, men do develop breast cancer, but it is fairly rare. In most
countries, about 1 of every 100 cases of breast cancer occur in men.
In women with breast cancer, post-mastectomy radiation is guided by
specific indications such as tumor size. But in men with breast cancer,
radiation is routinely given after mastectomy because the smaller male
breast makes it harder for surgeons to leave a clear margin of healthy
tissue when they remove the cancer, so men are thought to be at increased
risk for cancer recurrence in the breast area.
The outcome of the current study "challenges the idea that males with
breast cancer should be treated with more aggressive local therapy purely
on the basis of ***," Dr. Graham Macdonald told Reuters Health.
Macdonald, from the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, UK, and Canadian colleagues,
examined data on 4181 women and 60 men with invasive breast cancer who had
undergone total mastectomy as primary therapy.
Men were almost 6 times more likely than women to have radiotherapy after
mastectomy, even when other "confounding" factors were accounted for, the
authors report in the Annals of Oncology, a medical journal.
Of note, gender was not a prognostic factor for recurrence, breast-cancer
specific survival or overall survival. Local recurrence was significantly
associated with tumor size and grade, involvement of the lymph nodes and
the presence of vascular space invasion.
These findings, Macdonald concluded, should "reassure physicians involved
in breast cancer care that the indications for post-mastectomy
radiotherapy should be the same for males and females."
SOURCE: Annals of Oncology June 22, 2005.