COSA ASM: Australian men with breast cancer require more specialised care, treatment and support, according to cancer expert who presented at the COSA Annual Scientific Meeting in Hobart, a national cancer meeting focusing on rare cancers.
Professor John Boyages, from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University and author of Male Breast Cancer, Taking Control, told the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s Annual Scientific Meeting that the 150 Australian men diagnosed with breast cancer each year are disadvantaged by a system that is largely geared towards women and ‘contests’ male patients’ masculinity.
“Men’s breast cancer is often picked up later due to lack of awareness in both patients and doctors,” Professor Boyages said.
“It is often assumed that only women get breast cancer and this theme continues throughout their treatment. There is a lack of acknowledgement that mastectomies in men are also disfiguring and that having breast cancer can have a significant psychological impact on a man, including on his sexuality, intimacy and self-confidence, often leading to social isolation.
“Breast cancer is a disease dominated by the colour pink and females. We need more awareness of how breast cancer can affect men and more sensitivity in treatment. Treatments for women are not necessarily as effective in men,” said Professor Boyages,
“For example, in November 2014, the PBS approved the use of aromatase inhibitors for men with breast cancer, but the limited available data shows they are less effective in men than the true and tested tamoxifen.”
[hr] Source: COSA