On Friday, March 31, members of the MEDSIR team had the privilege of attending Invisibles 2023, a conference from INVI, the male breast cancer association. During the event in Madrid, Spain, INVI president Màrius Soler, a male patient with breast cancer, talked about tenacity, positivity, and transcendence during the process of this disease.
Male breast cancer is rare, with less than 1% of breast cancer cases occurring in men, but it is no less severe. Men with breast cancer are frequently diagnosed at an older age, more likely to be at an advanced stage of the disease when diagnosed, and have been historically excluded from clinical trials. All of this can make breast cancer patients feel invisible and has created a significant unmet need in male breast cancer. Plus, while breast cancer is widely known as the most commonly diagnosed cancer for women, only 14% of the population understand it as a disease that also affects men.
INVI has been working to give visibility to these patients for the last five years, with specific attention on ways to increase early diagnosis and provide effective treatments. The Invisibles conference is a big part of that effort.
In this emotional event, several male and female breast cancer patients, along with specialists, including oncologists, gynecologists, andrologists, and nurses, talked about their experience, putting male breast cancer patients at the focus.
A Physician’s Perspective on Male Breast Cancer
MEDSIR cofounder Dr. Javier Cortés participated in the event by discussing the relevance of clinical research and precision medicine in treating this type of tumor. Dr. Ander Urruticoechea presented ARDERNE, the first registry for male breast cancer in Spain, led by GEICAM, in which 800 male breast cancer patients have been included to date.
Patient Perspectives on Male Breast Cancer
“I remember being in the waiting room at the hospital, waiting to be called for my mammogram, me alone in a room full of women. I had to wait for hours because the staff thought it was a mistake to have a male’s name on the list.”
“When you are diagnosed with this disease, the world falls around you. The first thing that comes to your mind is: Are there any people like me who are still alive anywhere? When you find a place, such as the INVI association, where you see people like you who are still alive, it’s like finding a light at the end of the tunnel. The possibility to talk about your disease and feeling understood by somebody who passed through the same process is a relief.”
INVI 2023 Awards Ceremony
In the final part of the event, the INVI awards were given to Hospital Clinic de Barcelona and some associations for their collaboration and efforts for more research and quality of life for these patients.
At MEDSIR, we believe that the best oncology research needs to be collaborative. We are proud to work with INVI and other patient advocacy groups as we work together to create a healthier future for everyone. Our company is dedicated to supporting all cancer patients and uncovering treatments that change lives. Learn more about how we bring ideas to life.