20 May 2007

Male Breast Cancer

In many aspects of medicine, men are treated as the "gold standard," and women as a variation upon that, and often one we don't understand very well. While this is improving in many respects, I was intrigued to find there's one aspect where women are the gold standard and men are the rare variation, and that is (as the title says), breast cancer. This lack of knowledge about how to treat men is primarily due to the lower incidence of breast cancer in men. Sadly, they have a lower survival rate than women, so more research is definitely needed.

1 comment:

Galbinus_Caeli said...

There was a good and logical reason for men (specifically young white men) being the gold standard for human research fifty or a hundred years ago. With everyone else considered as a variant on that. At the time most research was being conducted on college campuses, and the research subject most easily at hand were college students. Most of whom were young, white and male. Performing medical experiments on this group was at least partially a matter of practicality.

Of course things have changed now, and research really needs to follow, or better yet, lead, those trends.