Male Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality, United States—2013–2017

U.S. Cancer Statistics Data Briefs, No. 19
October 2020

Breast cancer among males in the United States is rare with approximately 2,300 new cases and 500 deaths reported in 2017, accounting for about 1% of breast cancers.

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Compared to females, fewer males are diagnosed with and die from breast cancer.

Table 1. Breast Cancer Incidence and Death Ratesa by Sex, United States, 2017
Sex Incidence Mortality
Rate Count Rate Count
Male 1.28 2,276 0.29 510
Female 125.11 250,520 19.88 42,000

aRates are per 100,000 population and are age adjusted to the 2000 US standard population.

Differences by Race and Ethnicity

Based on data from 2013–2017, non-Hispanic Black men had the highest incidence (1.89 cases per 100,000 standard population) and death rates (0.53 deaths per 100,000 standard population) from breast cancer compared to men in other racial and ethnic groups.

Figure 1. Male Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortalitya by Race/Ethnicity,b,c United States, 2013–2017

a Rates are per 100,000 population and are age adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.

b Race/ethnicity groups are mutually exclusive.

c Mortality rates suppressed for non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native due to case counts fewer than 16.

Differences by Age

Incidence and death rates of male breast cancer are highest among men aged 80 years or older (8.30 and 2.68 per 100,000 standard population). However, men aged 60 to 69 years account for the highest proportion of male breast cancer cases and deaths.

Figure 2. Proportion of Male Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality Cases by Age, 2013–2017

Figure 3. Male Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Age, 2013–2017

Because screening for male breast cancer is not routinely recommended, any lumps or changes in breast tissue should be checked by a health care provider right away. Men with known BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are more likely to develop breast cancer than men without these genetic mutations. By routinely discussing family health history with their patients, health care providers may identify men who may be at increased risk and should be referred for genetic counseling.

Data Sources

Data in this brief come from U.S. Cancer Statistics, the official federal cancer statistics.

U.S. Cancer Statistics incidence data are from population-based registries that participate in CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and/or the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program and met high-quality data standards for the 2019 data submission period, covering 100% of the U.S. population.

U.S. Cancer Statistics death data are from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics National Vital Statistics System and cover 100% of U.S. population.

Data were analyzed using SEER*Stat (version 8.3.6).

Suggested Citation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Male Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality, United States—2013–2017. USCS Data Brief, no 19. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services; 2020.

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Page last reviewed: October 1, 2020