Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 3423–3428 | Cite as

Histopathological characterization of ulcerated breast cancer and comparison to their non-ulcerated counterparts

  • Christine Staudigl
  • Michaela Bartova
  • Mohamed Salama
  • Giorgi Dzagnidze
  • Zsuzsanna Bago-Horvath
  • Kamil Pohlodek
  • Christian F. Singer
  • Muy-Kheng M. Tea
Research Article


Approximately 6–15 % of breast cancer patients are diagnosed with primary ulcerated breast cancer (ULBC). ULBC is known to be associated with short recurrence free and poor overall survival. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to characterize ULBC and compare the histopathological findings with those of non-ulcerative breast cancer (NULBC). A total of 152 ULBCs were evaluated and compared to 304 consecutive non-ulcerated, age-matched breast malignancies. Patients mean age was 65 years (SD = 13.0 ULBC, SD = 14.0 NULBC). ULBC was associated with a higher rate of poorly differentiated tumors (p = <0.001), as well as larger tumor sizes (p = <0.001). As expected, the rate of axillary lymph node involvement was higher in ULBC patients (p = <0.001). In addition to that, ULBC was associated with a higher rate of triple negative breast cancer (p = 0.002), and higher Ki67 expression (p = <0.001). ULBC showed more aggressive histopathological features in comparison to NULBC which may contribute to the generally known poorer prognosis of women with ULBC.


Breast cancer Ulcerated breast cancer Locally advanced breast cancer Prognostic factors 



The authors want to thank Ms. Stefanie Mick for data input.

Conflicts of Interest


Authors’ contributions

MKT, CS, and CFS participated in the design, conception, and interpretation of the study as well as proof read and drafted the manuscript.

CS and MKT wrote the manuscript.

CS, MKT, GD, MB, ZBH, and KP helped with data collection.

MS participated in the design of the study and performed the statistical analysis.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Staudigl
    • 1
  • Michaela Bartova
    • 2
  • Mohamed Salama
    • 3
  • Giorgi Dzagnidze
    • 4
  • Zsuzsanna Bago-Horvath
    • 5
  • Kamil Pohlodek
    • 2
  • Christian F. Singer
    • 1
  • Muy-Kheng M. Tea
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Senology, Comprehensive Cancer CenterMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsComenius University School of MedicineBratislavaSlovakia
  3. 3.Department for Thoracic SurgeryOtto-Wagner HospitalViennaAustria
  4. 4.National Oncology CentreKhechinashvili University HospitalTbilisiGeorgia
  5. 5.Department of PathologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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