January 1970

Cancer in the Male Breast

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Union Memorial Hospital (Drs. Classen and Montague), and John Hopkins Hospital (Drs. Classen, Montague, and Wilgis), Baltimore.

Arch Surg. 1970;100(1):66-67. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340190068014

Approximately 1% of all malignant tumors of the breast occur in the male.1 Carcinoma is by far the most common, followed by sarcoma and melanosarcoma. Although the surgical literature contains numerous articles concerning cancer of the male breast, we feel that several misconceptions have been carried on from the older series and still persist, not only in literature, but also in the minds of patients and treating physicians. The general public is unaware of the fact that carcinoma of the breast can affect males. This misconception is shared by many physicians who, during routine physical examinations, fail to examine the male breast, justifying this omission by the relative rarity of this lesion. Even when a mass is palpable in the male breast, it is rarely treated with the same index of suspicion as in the female, leading to fewer early diagnoses. This is compounded by widespread opinion of incurability,

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