Racial disparities in treatment and survival of male breast cancer.J Clin Oncol. 2007 Mar 20; 25(9):1089-98.JC
Black women with breast cancer have poorer survival than do white women, but little is known about racial disparities in male breast cancer. We analyzed race and other predictors of treatment and survival among men with stage I-III breast cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Medicare database to identify men 65 years of age or older diagnosed with stage I-III breast cancer from 1991 to 2002. Multivariate regression was used to compare those treated with those not treated with either chemotherapy or radiation therapy, adjusting for known clinical and demographic factors. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to analyze survival.
Of 510 male breast cancer cases (456 white, 34 black), 94% underwent mastectomy, 28% received adjuvant chemotherapy, and 29% received radiation therapy. Among those with known hormone receptors, 95% had hormone-sensitive tumors. In a multivariate analysis, chemotherapy was associated with younger age, advanced stage, and hormone receptor-negative tumors. Radiation therapy was associated with younger age and advanced stage. Black men were approximately 50% less likely to undergo consultation with an oncologist and subsequently receive chemotherapy; however, the results did not reach statistical significance. The breast cancer-specific mortality hazard ratio was more than tripled for black versus white men (hazard ratio = 3.29; 95% CI, 1.10 to 9.86).
After adjustment for known clinical, demographic, and treatment factors, there was an association of black race with increased male breast cancer-specific mortality. Although male breast cancer is rare, the reasons for these disparities need to be better understood.