Male breast cancer sufferers 'need specific treatment'

Breast cancer treatment could soon be tailored towards a patient's gender as a new study reveals more men are contracting the disease now than 20 years ago.

Scientists at the University of Leeds examined diagnosis rates in England, Scotland, Canada and Australia in 1986 and 2006 and found the amount of cases increased by a third. The number remains low – 340 new cases a year compared to 48,000 new cases in women – and many men are not even aware they are at risk.

Dr Valerie Speirs, who led the study, hypothesised that the contributory factors are similar to those in women such as unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Most of the treatments used on males are derived from female breast cancer treatment and now Dr Speirs hopes to study any differences to customise the treatment for men.

Cancer Research UK states the most common cancer in men in the UK is prostate cancer, with an estimated 37,000 new incidences in 2008.

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