Male breast cancer cases rise by 50% over 25 years

Unclear whether more men are getting breast cancer or if better awareness means an increase in those coming forward.

The number of men found to have breast cancer in Scotland has increased by more than 50% over 25 years, according to a landmark study.

Research by Aberdeen University found diagnoses have risen from 0.8 cases per 100,000 men in 1992 to 1.3 cases per 100,000 men in 2017.

It is the first time Scottish data has been analysed in this way, but the increase follows a similar pattern seen across the world in countries including the US, where male breast cancer diagnosis is also on the rise.

Professor Valerie Speirs, who led the study, said: “With this type of data, it’s hard to say if this is a real rise or just that men are becoming more aware and presenting with symptoms.

“Maybe 25 years ago, they would have just ignored it then either died with the disease without even knowing they had it or before it became a bigger problem.”

This rising trend was most prominent in the north of Scotland, although it was also generally stronger in rural areas.

The study, published in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology, found male breast cancer accounted for 0.36% of all breast cancers diagnosed in 1992, rising to 0.65% in 2017.

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