A greater awareness of male breast cancer among clinicians and patients could help improve outcomes in the future. Researchers just completed a study looking at breast cancer screening in high-risk men and found that targeted mammography led to increased disease detection.

The researchers conducted a 12-year longitudinal observational study of male breast imaging utilization and outcomes. The goal of the study was to delineate risk factors that may be associated with a breast cancer diagnosis. “We found it interesting and surprising that the use of breast imaging in men increased over time as compared to women, which may in part reflect a growing awareness that breast cancer could also occur in men,” said study corresponding author Yiming Gao, MD, who is with the Department of Radiology at New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.

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Dr Gao and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of consecutive male breast imaging examinations between 2005 and 2017. The study included 1869 men with a median age of 55 years (range, 18 to 96 years). The researchers correlated patient characteristics with examination indications, biopsy recommendations, and pathologic results. They used Fisher exact test, Mann-Whitney test, Spearman correlation, and logistic regression for statistical analyses.

Among the 1869 men, 2052 examinations were conducted, which identified 2304 breast lesions and resulted in 149 biopsies (6.5%) obtained from 133 men. Biopsy results revealed 41 malignancies (27.5%) and 108 benign tumors (72.5%). Study inclusion criteria were men who were screened and had personal or family history of breast and /or genetic mutations.