Even though men don’t have breasts like women, they do have a small amount of breast tissue. The “breasts” of an adult man are similar to the breasts of a girl before puberty.
But because it is still breast tissue, men can get breast cancer. Men get the same types of breast cancers that women do.
The major problem is that breast cancer in men is often diagnosed later than breast cancer in women. It also means tumors can spread more quickly to surrounding tissues and in fact, the majority of men are diagnosed with breast cancer in advanced stages. Because this is a rare disease among men, there are little clinical trials to offer these patients to provide information on possible treatments and drugs.
The FDA approved Ibrance® a few days ago, on April 5, 2019, for the treatment of men with advanced breast cancer that is hormonal positive and HER2, negative. The approval was not based on clinical trial, as we are used to in medicine, but on real-world data: men with breast cancer who were treated with Ibrance® for their illness through insurance or privately, and gained therapeutic efficiency beyond what they expected with the little alternative they would have been offered.
Sometimes, in order to get innovative treatments, you have to think outside the box and be prepared to do something and actually get them. In this case, these men – Won!
The head of the FDA said in January this year that the power of the “real world” accumulated information and the accumulated evidences from the real world must be recognized. This information needs to be carefully analyzed and examined. However, it is such a great and important information that can promote cancer medicine even more quickly, rather than only systematic clinical trials, which can sometimes be problematic, such as in cases of rare diseases or diseases with a small number of certain cancers, such as breast cancer among men.
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