Meaghen Quinlan-Davidson

Male Breast Cancer in Morocco

Although male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease, important geographic and racial differences have been identified that merit investigation. For example, MBC in Europe and the U.S. accounts for less than 1% of all breast cancers, whereas incidence in Africa is estimated to be both higher and more variable. In Egypt the rate of MBC has dropped, formerly 12 times greater than the U.S. (El-Gazayerli & Abdel-Aziz, 1963), to comparable levels. Conversely, reports by the International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) have shown increasing incidence in Uganda (Curado et al., 2008), currently estimated at 4.8%. Morocco shows a similarly high frequency of MBC, currently estimated at 3.0%. Further, data from the SEER registries in the U.S. have shown that African Americans present with more advanced disease and have lower five-year survival rates than whites, and that their age-adjusted incidence rates are the highest of other ethnic groups (O'Malley et al., 2002; O'Malley et al., 2005).

Given the general dearth of information on MBC, the aim of the present study is to verify the relative frequency of MBC in Morocco and to explore risk factors for the disease such as family history of cancer, personal medical history, residence, and occupation.

Specific Aims

1. To identify the relative frequency of MBC in Morocco.
2. To explore the demographic and medical characteristics of MBC cases with a particular focus on residence and occupation, age at diagnosis, previous medical history including medications and hormonal intake, and family history of cancer.
3. To analyze the histopathological characteristics of MBC cases including BRCA2 gene mutations, estrogen receptor (ER) status, and CAG polymorphisms.

This study will contribute significantly to the knowledge of male breast cancer in Africa. By establishing the frequency of male breast cancer in Morocco, these findings will provide insight into geographical differences in male breast cancer occurrence. Additionally, this research will contribute to a better understanding of the risk factors for male breast cancer, which will promote the identification and implementation of optimal treatment and health education strategies with the overarching goals of improving survival and preventing disease in Morocco and elsewhere.