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Researchers are worried about the rise in male breast cancer. Although the disease is unusual?just 1600 cases are predicted for 2004?the 25% increase in 25 years is a concern. The researchers reached their conclusion after analyzing data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results 1973 to 1998 database.
The study focused on 2524 cases of male breast cancer and 380,856 cases of female breast cancer over the 25-year period. The results showed that the occurrence of male breast cancer had increased from 0.86 per 100,000 men in 1973 to 1.08 per 100,000 men in 1998. Also, men were older when diagnosed, age 67 versus 62 for the average woman, and men were more likely to have advanced disease that had spread. (The findings were reported in Cancer, July 2004.)