Apocrine carcinoma of the breast

Dr Dan J Bell and Radswiki et al.

Apocrine carcinoma of the breast is a rare variant of breast cancer. The diagnosis is mainly pathological as it is difficult to differentiate from other forms of breast cancer on imaging.

It accounts for about 4% of all cases. It is seen most often in females in the age group of 50-70 years.

Grossly it appears similar to other invasive breast carcinomas.

Microscopic appearance is of sheets, cords and at times tubules of neoplastic cells. The primary features are that of large amounts of eosinophilic, granular cytoplasm, tumour cells with well-defined margins, and large vesicular nuclei. The nucleus-to-cytoplasm ratio is about 1:2. They frequently reveal snouts which are accumulations of secreted granules in the apical cytoplasm, that is clearly revealed by staining dyes.

The six-year survival rate for moderate to high-grade apocrine breast cancer is thought to be between 70% and 80%.

Breast imaging and pathology
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Article information

rID: 15134
System: Breast
Section: Pathology
Tags: stub, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Apocrine carcinoma of breast
  • Apocrine breast cancer
  • Apocrine breast carcinoma
  • Apocrine cancer of the breast

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