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FDA Urging Drug Companies to Include Men in Breast Cancer Trials

Jul 2nd 2015 at 9:53 AM

While the incidence rate of male breast cancer cases is about 100 times less than those found in women, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is urging pharmaceutical companies to include males in their clinical trials. The reasons for this are many, but the bottom line is that male breast cancer does occur and as it stands now men are largely excluded from research into treatment of this disease.

An estimated 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are reported in American women each and every year. Another 60,000 women have their cancer diagnosed in its earliest stages. Those numbers are in comparison to about 2,360 new cases of male breast cancer and roughly 430 deaths each year.

Despite the low incidence rate, the push is on for drug makers to get more serious about including men in their trials. This, medical professionals say, may prove to be an important step in better understanding this disease and its treatment in regard to men. As it stands now, data available on male breast cancer is lacking. So, too, is a greater understanding of this disease and its unique challenges in regard to men.

While researchers say the survival rates for men match women stage-for-stage, male breast cancer patients face unique problems. The first is an overall lack of awareness about the disease, which may lead to later diagnosis. The second is the fact that with less breast tissue men are more likely to see their cancer spread, making treatment difficult and prognosis poor.

Male breast cancer may not be as widely known or understood as the disease in women, but it is a concern. Men who face the disease may soon find more help headed their way courtesy of the FDA’s request for more inclusion in studies. In the meantime, men should be mindful of the potential for breast cancer and discuss this condition with their healthcare professionals.

About Author
Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group, a division of Choice Cancer Care – is an independently owned and operated oncology practice that is completely focused on unique, comprehensive patient care.

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