Synchronous breast cancer

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 1 Mar 2018

Synchronous breast cancers are two (or more) primary breast cancers that occur in either breast at the same time. 

Up to 10% of all breast cancers may be synchronous (particularly found with the use of breast MRI). The occurrence of bilaterality is greatest with invasive lobular carcinoma.

With MRI screening, there may be a 4-10% rate of contralateral breast cancers when a unilateral breast cancer is found 1.

The survival of women with synchronous breast cancers is worse than those with unilateral disease 3.

Considerations include:

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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