• Vol. 41 No. 6, 247–251
  • 15 June 2012

Male Breast Cancer in Singapore: 15 Years of Experience at a Single Tertiary Institution



Introduction: Male breast cancer is a rare disease entity, with little data from the Southeast Asian perspective. Hence, this study aims to review the data from our local experience in order to better delineate the disease characteristics in our population.

Materials and Methods: Male patients with histologically proven breast cancer were identified from a prospectively collected database. The clinical, histopathological and survival data were reviewed retrospectively and analysed.

Results: Twenty-one patients were identified. The median age at diagnosis was 68 years. Eighteen patients underwent simple mastectomy with curative intent, with the remainding patients having metastatic disease at presentation. Almost half of the patients presented with stage III or IV disease. At the time of analysis, median overall survival was 50 months and median disease-free survival was 47.5 months. None of the patients had any documented family history or risk factors for male breast cancer.

Conclusion: The disease appears to be a sporadic and rare occurrence in the local male population. A high index of suspicion should be maintained in males presented with a unilateral breast lump so that appropriate treatment can be instituted.

Male breast cancer is a rare disease entity, traditionally said to represent <1% of all diagnosed breast cancers. Recent statistics, however, suggest that its incidence may be on the rise, although the clinical significance of this is unknown. This rarity has precluded large randomised controlled trials, and most treatment recommendations and guidelines, including those for adjuvant therapy, are extrapolated from data derived from female patients.

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