Pathology of Breast Cancer

  • Edwin R. Fisher


The literature contains several monographs and numerous reports dealing with the pathologic aspects of mammary carcinoma. Many are concerned with correlations of certain pathologic features of these lesions with prognosis. Examples of such studies are those relating such so-called pathologic discriminants of the tumor as nuclear and histologic grades, lymphoid infiltrate, and reactions of regional lymph nodes, to survival. There are a modest number of reports attesting to the favorable clinical course of certain histologic types of mammary carcinoma, namely, medullary, tubular, mucinous, and adenocystic types. Some studies might be regarded as principally descriptive in nature. These refer to features of mammary carcinoma which may be unappreciated by routine staining techniques, such as their elastic or mucin content. Although perusal of many of these pathologic studies may reveal information relevant to the interrelationships among several pathologic and clinical parameters, only one comprehensive, systematic study of this nature has appeared.(1) It is noteworthy that the material utilized in the latter, as well as in most other studies concerned with clinicopathologic correlations, had been retrospectively selected. As a result, its uniformity is highly debatable and prevents meaningful comparisons of results emanating from different institutions. Indeed, it is our impression that many of the divergent findings in the literature are, in large part, attributable to defects inherent in retrospective analyses.


Breast Cancer Mammary Carcinoma Myoepithelial Cell Lobular Carcinoma Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin R. Fisher
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PathologyShadyside HospitalPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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