Does Breast Cancer in Men Have Anything to Say About the Hormonal Hypothesis in Women?

Questions to Doctor Robert N Hoover, MD, PhD, Director of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program in the Intramural Research Program of the National Cancer Institute at the NIH’s Director’s Wednesday afternoon lecture series – May 16, 2007 – “Hormones and Breast Cancer”

Question:
I was wondering if you think breast cancer in men has anything to say about the hormonal hypothesis in women.

Answer: 
Breast cancer in men has been ill-studied obviously.  It’s a sample size problem.  I must say that the androgen hypothesis killing off stem cells sound like awfully good reason why males don’t get breast cancer.  The whole gender effect would be difficult to separate it from other things. There have been case reports of men developing breast cancer who were on estrogen hormones for one reason or another.  I suspect it has some common causal elements with that in women but it’s just not well enough studied to know.

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