, Volume 280, Issue 1, pp 149-152
Date: 11 Dec 2008

Secondary involvement of the breast in T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, an unusual example mimicking inflammatory breast carcinoma

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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the breast is a rare malignancy and present with almost equal frequency either as a primary or a secondary disease. Survival is poor in most cases of secondary breast lymphoma because of their advanced stage. We report a 35-year-old woman presenting with dyspnea as well as swelling, tenderness, and ruddiness in the left breast with non-cyclic pain for several months and maculopapular skin eruption in the same breast. Physical examination revealed fixed lymphadenopathies in both axillary regions. Radiologic evaluations (bilateral mammaograpy and ultrasonography) showed skin thickening in the left breast, asymmetrical densities in both breasts, and confirmed lymphadenopathies in the axillary regions. Excisional biopsies were performed to the left axillary lymph nodes and the breast skin eruptions. The histologic and immunohistochemical features were diagnosed as an ALK (−) anaplastic large cell lymphoma. A Computed Tomography examination was performed for staging the lymphoma and then chemotherapy was started. Thirty months after the diagnosis, the patient is still alive with disease. Because of the presence of systemic symptoms such as skin involvement and generalized lymphadenopathies (mediastinal, axillary or cervical), T cell lymphoma cases with breast involvement could mimic the clinical presentation of inflammatory breast carcinoma. Pathologic examination is needed for the correct diagnosis.