Male Breast Cancer in the Age of Genetic Testing: An Opportunity for Early Detection, Tailored Therapy, and Surveillance.
Radiographics. 2018 Sep-Oct;38(5):1289-1311. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018180013. Epub 2018 Aug 3.
Gao Y1, Heller SL1, Moy L1.
In detection, treatment, and follow-up, male breast cancer has historically lagged behind female breast cancer. On the whole, breast cancer is less common among men than among women, limiting utility of screening, yet the incidence of male breast cancer is rising, and there are men at high risk for breast cancer. While women at high risk for breast cancer are well characterized, with clearly established guidelines for screening, supplemental screening, risk prevention, counseling, and advocacy, men at high risk for breast cancer are poorly identified and represent a blind spot in public health. Today, more standardized genetic counseling and wider availability of genetic testing are allowing identification of high-risk male relatives of women with breast cancer, as well as men with genetic mutations predisposing to breast cancer. This could provide a new opportunity to update our approach to male breast cancer. This article reviews male breast cancer demographics, risk factors, tumor biology, and oncogenetics; recognizes how male breast cancer differs from its female counterpart; highlights its diagnostic challenges; discusses the implications of the widening clinical use of multigene panel testing; outlines current National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines (version 1, 2018) for high-risk men; and explores the possible utility of targeted screening and surveillance. Understanding the current state of male breast cancer management and its challenges is important to shape future considerations for care. Shifting the paradigm of male breast cancer detection toward targeted precision medicine may be the answer to improving clinical outcomes of this uncommon disease.