c l i n i c a l f o l i o s : n a r r a t i v e





A D V E R T I S E M E N T

 

Breast Cancer: Background: 7

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

   
 

When the cells of a ductal cancer first break through the basement membrane, it is said to be at the microinvasive stage.       

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Breast Cancer: Background: 8

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

   
 

When ductal carcinoma becomes invasive, it is called infiltrating ductal carcinoma. There are several forms infiltrating ductal carcinoma takes. By far the most common (75%) is a ray-like invasion of the surrounding tissue with an associated fibrous (desmoplastic) reaction. This variety is called scirrhous carcinoma. It has a characteristic irregular stellate, crab-like (the origin of the word cancer) appearance on mammogram, and on cut section of a surgical specimen.

There are several other less-common variants of infiltrating ductal carcinoma which have a slightly better prognosis. These include Paget's disease of the nipple, commedocarcinoma, medullary, colloid, papillary and tubular carcinomas. There are a few other very rare types called sweat gland, epidermoid and adenoid cystic carcinoma.    

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Breast Cancer: Background: 9

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

   
 

Paget's disease of the nipple is a weeping, eczematoid lesion of the nipple and areola caused by infiltration of the skin by an underlying ductal carcinoma. Characteristic large, clear vacuolated Paget's cells with small dark nuclei and lymphocytes are seen in the thickened skin of the areola. The presentation is frequently by the rash alone with no palpable underlying mass. The early manifestation may relate to its better prognosis.     

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This page was last modified on 7/9/1999.