Tubular carcinoma of the breast: mammographic, sonographic, clinical and pathologic findings.

Research paper by Işil I Günhan-Bilgen, Ayşenur A Oktay

Indexed on: 22 Sep '06Published on: 22 Sep '06Published in: European Journal of Radiology


To determine and quantitate the radiological characteristics of tubular carcinoma of the breast, to report clinical and pathologic findings and to define findings at follow-up.A retrospective review of records of 2872 women who received a diagnosis of breast carcinoma between January 1988 and January 2006 revealed 32 histopathologically proven pure tubular carcinoma of the breast. Analysis included history; findings at physical examination, mammography, and sonography (US) at the time of diagnosis and in postoperative follow-up and histopathological results.Fifty-nine percent of the patients (n=19) presented with a palpable mass. The mammographic findings were a mass in 23 (72%), a mass with microcalcifications in 2 (6%), asymmetric focal density in 1 (3%), architectural distortion in 1 (3%) and negative in 5 (16%) of the 32 patients. Most (96%) masses had spiculated margins. US depicted 30 masses in 29 patients, all of which were hypoechoic, mostly (n=27, 90%) with posterior acoustic shadowing. The cancer was clinically occult in 41% (n=13), mammographically occult in 16% (n=5), and sonographically occult in 6% (n=2) of the patients. Histologically, the tumor was multifocal in 3% (n=1) of the patients. Four (13%) patients developed contralateral breast carcinoma at follow-up.Tubular carcinoma has a variety of presentations, but it is mostly seen on mammography as a small spiculated mass, and on sonography as an irregular mass with posterior acoustic shadowing. Although tubular carcinoma is known as a well-differentiated tumor with excellent prognosis, the mammographic follow-up of the contralateral breast is important.