Challenges of Diagnosing and Treating Male Breast Cancer: Radiation Oncology Case Studies

Lee Culp, BA, RT(T),<sup>*</sup> Andy Kressin, BS,<sup>*</sup> and Nishele Lenards, MS, CMD, RT(R)(T), FAAMD<sup>**</sup>

*Graduate Student, Medical Dosimetry Program, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin.
**Medical Dosimetry Program Director, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin; Past President, American Association of Medical Dosimetrists.    

Disclosures: The authors report having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.


Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease that has become more prevalent over the past decade. Because MBC is so rare, most of the published information regarding the disease is extrapolated from female breast cancer data. It appears that males do not benefit from the advancements leading to earlier breast cancer diagnosis and improved cancer care in the same way females have in the last 10 years. Male patients are often misdiagnosed at initial presentation or imaging results are inconclusive. Although mammograms and sonograms are the standard for initial breast examination in both men and women, it may be possible that an alternative form of imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging could be more effective at diagnosing breast cancer in males in earlier stages. This article presents an overview of the epidemiology and etiology of MBC and uses 2 case studies to illustrate challenges in the initial diagnosis of MBC and the role of imaging and postoperative radiation therapy in breast cancer treatment.

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