Below we summarize available data published since 2020 concerning the risk of recurrence for invasive male breast cancer. However, please note that outcomes can vary greatly depending on numerous factors. Also, the statistics below represent snapshots from studies that were conducted using different populations under a variety of circumstances.
Therefore, the numbers are somewhat inconsistent and far from definitive and should not be used to calculate your likely recurrence-free survival. However, the data is useful in getting a general idea of male breast cancer prognosis and to compare outcomes depending on treatment and other factors. For example, the data makes clear that breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy) typically has a better prognosis when followed by radiation treatment, especially for stage II and stage III disease.

Definition of survival terms

Progression-free survival means that no recurrence, metastasis or breast cancer-related death took place during the specified period. Overall survival means no death occurred (whether from breast cancer or from another cause).

Male breast cancer recurrence & survival data

Patient and treatment characteristics → Likelihood of progression-free or overall survival
General survival - U.S. male breast cancer population
  • Overall survival
    • Five-year overall survival → 82% to 92%
    • Five-year progression-free survival → 62% to 86%
  • Overall survival by ethnicity
    • Five-year overall survival, African-American → 78%
    • Five-year overall survival, Latino → 83%
    • Five-year overall survival, white → 86%
Survival based on stage at diagnosis
  • Five-year overall survival by stage
    • Stage I: Five-year overall survival → 90% to 99%
    • Stage II: Five-year overall survival → 86%
    • Stage III: Five-year overall survival → 78%
    • Stage IV: Five-year overall survival → 26% to 37%
  • Five-year survival for stage I-III
    • Stage I-III: Five-year overall survival → 83%
    • Stage I-III: Five-year progression-free survival → 66%
Survival based on receptor type
  • Hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+)
    • ER+/PR+/HER2-: Five-year overall survival → 77%
    • ER+/PR+/HER2+: Five-year overall survival → 65%
  • Hormone receptor negative (ER-/PR-)
    • ER-/PR-/HER2+: Five-year overall survival → 84%
    • ER-/PR-/HER2-: Five-year overall survival → 48%
Survival based on treatment
  • Survival based on use of chemotherapy
    • Chemotherapy: Four-year overall survival → 98%
    • No chemotherapy: Four-year overall survival → 95%
  • Survival based on use of tamoxifen
    • Tamoxifen: Median 39-month progression-free survival → 89%
    • No tamoxifen: Median 39-month progression-free survival → 82%
  • Survival based on lumpectomy & radiotherapy
    • Stage I radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 77%
    • Stage I no radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 63%
    • Stage II radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 72%
    • Stage II no radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 40%
    • Stage III radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 68%
    • Stage III no radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 35%
  • Survival based on mastectomy & radiotherapy
    • Stage I radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 65%
    • Stage I no radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 68%
    • Stage II radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 58%
    • Stage II no radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 53%
    • Stage III radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 42%
    • Stage III no radiotherapy: Five-year overall survival → 28%
Below are links to recent studies on this topic. Please also see our article on male breast cancer, which describes factors that drive outcomes in male breast cancer.