Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 447–451 | Cite as

Pure mucinous carcinoma of the breast: A clinicopathologic correlation study

  • Eli Avisar
  • Muhammad Akram Khan
  • Deborah Axelrod
  • Krishna Oza
Original Articles


Background: Pure mucinous carcinoma (PMC) of the breast has a better prognosis than does invasive ductal carcinoma not otherwise specified and is more prevalent in older patients. We investigated the correlation between prognostic indices and clinical outcome in this histologic subset.

Methods: A retrospective review was done of patients with PMC treated between 1989 and 1996. Demographic data, pathologic indices of prognosis, axillary nodal status, and outcome were assessed.

Results: Out of 6083 cases of breast carcinoma, 30 were PMC. Only 3 of 25 (12%) axillary dissections were positive. The average age of the group with positive nodes was 57 years, as compared to 69.5 years (95% CI; 63.24–75.76) in the group with negative nodes. All the tumors with positive nodes were aneuploid and had a high nuclear grade, compared to a 31.25% aneuploidy rate in the group without nodal disease (P=.058). Negative ER receptors were found in only 2 of 20 (10%) of the patients tested. Both had axillary disease (P=.016). Tumor size did not correlate with axillary metastasis. Two of the 29 patients died from unrelated diseases. The other 27 patients are alive with no evidence of disease.

Conclusions: Axillary nodal disease is rare in PMC and correlates with a younger age, aneuploidy, high nuclear grade, or a negative ER receptor status. Sentinel lymph node biopsy may help identify the need for axillary dissection.

Key Words

Breast cancer Mucinous carcinoma Prognostic factors Axillary dissection 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    World Health Organization. Histological typing of breast tumors.Tumori 1982;68:181–98.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Norris HJ, Taylor HB. Prognosis of mucinous (gelatinous) carcinoma of the breast.Cancer 1965;18:879–85.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rasmussen BB. Human mucinous breast carcinomas and their lymph node metastases. A histological review of 247 cases.Path Res Pract 1985;180:377–82.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Komaki K, Sakamoto G, Sugano H, Morimoto T, Monden Y. Mucinous carcinoma of the breast in Japan. A prognostic analysis based on morphologic features.Cancer 1988;61:989–96.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Toikkanen S, Kujari H. Pure and mixed mucinous carcinomas of the breast: a clinicopathologic analysis of 61 cases with long term follow up.Hum Pathol 1989;20:758–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Scopsi L, Andreola S, Pilotti S, Bufalino R, Baldini MT, Testori A, Rilke F. Mucinous carcinoma of the breast. A clinicopathologic, histochemical and immunocytochemical study with special reference to neuroendocrine differentiation.Am J Surg Pathol 1994;18:702–11.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Saudade A, Cunha F, Bernardo M, Meneses e Sousa J, Cortez F, Soares J. Mucinous carcinoma of the breast: A pathologic study of 82 cases.J Surg Oncol 1995;58:162–7.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rosen PP, Wang TY. Colloid carcinoma of the breast. Analysis of 64 patients with long term follow up.Am J Clin Pathol 1980;73;304.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Clayton F. Pure mucinous carcinomas of breast: morphological features and prognostic correlates.Hum Pathol 1986;17:34–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Silverberg SG, Kay S, Chitale AR, Levitt SH. Colloid carcinoma of the breast.Am J Clin Pathol 1971;55:355–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rasmussen BB, Rose C, Christensen I. Prognostic factors in primary mucinous breast carcinoma.Am J Clin Pathol 1987;87:155–60.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Goodman DNF, Boutross-Tadross O, Jong RA. Mammographic features of pure mucinous carcinoma of the breast with pathological correlation.Can Assoc Radiol J 1995;46:296–301.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wilson TE, Helvie MA, Oberman HA, Joynt LK. Pure and mixed mucinous carcinoma of the breast: pathologic basis for differences in mammographic appearance.AJR Am J Roentgenol 1995;165:285–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gupta RK, McHutchison AGR, Simpson JS, Dowle CS. Value of fine needle aspiration cytology of the breast, with an emphasis on the cytodiagnosis of colloid carcinoma.Acta Cytologica 1991;35:703–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Capella C, Eusebi V, Mann B, Azzopardi JG. Endocrine differentiation in mucoid carcinoma of the breast.Histopathology 1980;4:613–30.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Weaver MG, Abdul-Karim FW, Al-Kaisi N. Mucinous lesions of the breast. A pathological continuum.Pathol Res Pract 1993;189:873–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society of Surgical Oncology, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eli Avisar
    • 1
  • Muhammad Akram Khan
    • 1
  • Deborah Axelrod
    • 1
  • Krishna Oza
    • 2
  1. 1.From the Department of SurgeryBeth Israel Medical CenterNew York
  2. 2.the Department of PathologyBeth Israel Medical CenterNew York

Personalised recommendations