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Study finds male breast cancer patients less likely to survive

Male breast cancer patients in Oklahoma and elsewhere are less likely to survive than female patients, according to a new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The study was published in JAMA Oncology on Sept. 19.

Statistics show that breast cancer cases in men are on the rise. In 1975, there were 0.85 breast cancer cases diagnosed per 100,000 men in the U.S. In 2016, there were 1.21 cases per 100,000 men. Experts estimate that nearly 2,700 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. Unfortunately, researchers found that men are more likely to succumb to the disease than their female counterparts.

For the study, which is the largest of its type ever conducted, researchers analyzed data on 1,816,733 American breast cancer patients diagnosed between January 2004 and December 2014. Of those patients, 16,025 were male. The study found that male patients had lower survival rates at 3 years, 5 years and 10 years than female patients. This was true even after researchers controlled for other contributing factors, including access to care and socioeconomic status. According to experts, men aren’t taught to do self-exams, often receive different therapies than women and can be non-compliant to follow-up treatments. All of these factors could negatively impact their chances of survival. To address the issue, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently requested that drug companies start including men in their breast cancer studies.

Male breast cancer patients who experience misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis might benefit from discussing their case with a lawyer. The lawyer may examine the patient’s medical records to determine if the doctor failed to provide duty of care. If so, legal counsel might suggest filing a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for multiple damages, including pain and suffering, medical bills and lost income.