Oliver makes a compelling argument for increased funding for male breast cancer. His breast cancer is treated using the same protocol as female breast cancer because there is so little research guiding best practices for men. And last I noticed, there were some biological differences between males and females of the human species. Finally, Oliver makes a strong argument without oversimplifying, being sarcastic, or being disrespectful. His data and reasoning are compelling enough to elicit a desired emotional response like compassion and a call to action.

Entering a World of Pink

While there is nothing that forces a strict proportionality between cancer incidence and cancer research funding, there is something to be said for making sure that rare cancers are not left behind. Breast cancer in men is a rare disease, and, from a research funding point of view, it is being left behind.

About 1% of breast cancers occur in men. There is regional variation, with fewer in some countries (e.g. US where it is ~0.7%) and more in others (e.g. Tanzania where it is 6%). Let’s call it 1%.

1% is a small number, for sure, but it is not a negligible number. The American Cancer Society estimates 2,240 breast cancer cases in the US in 2013 for men, and 234,580 for women. Compare the number of breast cancer cases expected in men to the number of men likely to get ALL (3,350), CML (3,420), penile (1,570), bone…

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