“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."
A study of the experiences and attitudes of men with breast cancer (MATCH)
This study looked at the experiences of men with breast cancer in the United Kingdom. Breast cancer in men is much, much rarer than it is in women.
The aim of this study was to look at the attitudes and opinions of a group of men with breast cancer. The researchers hoped that identifying the needs of men with breast cancer could improve their future management and care.
Summary of results
The researchers found that there is a need to provide men with breast cancer with better practical support and information, specifically about male breast cancer.
The study used small discussion groups of men and women with breast cancer and health professionals. The main part of the study recruited 161 men with breast cancer. All the men who took part filled in a questionnaire. The questionnaire asked about
- Medical history
- Diagnosis and treatment
- Feelings, anxieties and worries
- Ways of coping
- Information they were given about breast cancer
The researchers interviewed 30 out of the 161 men to explore the topics described above in more detail. In 2005, the researchers analysed the answers in the questionnaires and interviews. They found
- 8 out of 10 men reported their symptoms early and were shocked when told they had breast cancer
- Telling partners and close family members about the diagnosis was influenced by embarrassment, stigma and how they felt about their bodies
- Half the men wanted more written information specifically about men’s breast cancer as there wasn’t very much available
- Very few men used formal support services such as self help groups
The researchers concluded that awareness needs to be raised about men’s breast cancer among health care professionals and members of the public.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Dr Jonathon Gray
Breast Cancer Campaign
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)