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Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology
IF: 1.241 5-Year IF: 1.349 SJR: 0.519 SNIP: 0.613 CiteScore™: 1.61

ISSN Print: 0731-8898
ISSN Online: 2162-6537

Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology

DOI: 10.1615/JEnvironPatholToxicolOncol.v29.i3.60
pages 235-244

A Pilot Study of Male Breast Cancer in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System

Sacha Satram-Hoang
Division of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of California, USA
Edgar M. Moran
Cancer Program, Long Beach VA Medical Center, and University of California, Irvine, Department of Veterans Administration Medical Center
Hoda Anton-Culver
Division of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA. USA
Ronald W. Burras
Cancer Program, Long Beach VA Medical Center, Long Beach, CA and Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
Tomas M. Heimann
Department of Veterans Affairs, Bronx VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA
Inez Boggio
Department of Veterans Affairs, Bronx VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA
Gwendylen R. Dykstra-Long
Tumor Registry, Department of Veterans Affairs, Shreveport VA Medical Center, Shreveport, LA, USA
Patricia A. Wood
Oncology Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Columbia VA Medical Center, Columbia, SC, USA
Rita Zulka
Tumor Registry, Pittsburgh VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA; 7Presbyterian Healthcare Systems, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Georgia Hufnagel
Presbyterian Healthcare Systems, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Karen K. Bahan
Cancer Program, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System, New Orleans, LA, USA

ABSTRACT

Background: We report our findings on a hospital-based retrospective pilot cohort with case-controls study, which we carried out to examine genetic, environmental, and occupational risk factors in men with breast cancer. Methods: 86 men with breast cancer were diagnosed in eight VA medical centers that agreed to collaborate on this project. A case-control analysis was conducted on a subset of the male breast cancer cases (n = 44) and age- and ethnicity-matched controls (n = 77). We compared host characteristics, comorbidities, and medications intake between cases and controls by using Chi-square analysis and Fisher's exact test. Results: The descriptive analysis showed that the majority of veterans with male breast cancer were non-Hispanic white (60%), older than 65 years at diagnosis (56%), and more likely estrogen receptor positive (45%). World War II veterans represented the largest group (22%), followed by the Vietnam era veterans (10%). Thirty-three percent reported a positive family history of cancer, while 18% had another primary cancer diagnosis. Prior alcohol (43%) and tobacco use (56%) was substantial among these patients. Twenty percent of patients were overweight or obese and 55% had comorbid diseases with heart disease being the most prevalent, followed by diabetes mellitus. The case-control analysis yielded a significantly greater proportion of cases with gynecomastia (p < 0.0001), a positive family history of cancer (p = 0.0028), history of antibiotic use (p = 0.0112), and history of tobacco use (p = 0.0143) compared to controls. Conclusion: The findings of this hospital-based pilot study indicate case-control differences in gynecomastia and family history of cancer. The pilot study lacked sufficient power to determine a true association between the variables of interest and warrants a large-scale collaborative study between the VA medical centers.


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