Non-Mammary Metastasis To Breast; A Diagnostic Challenge Non-Mammary Metastasis to Breast

Marium Hameed (1), Sajid Mushtaq (2), Usman Hassan (3), Mudassar Hussain (4), Umar Nisar Sheikh (5)
(1) Department of Histopathology, ShaukatKhanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, Pakistan,
(2) Department of Pathology, ShaukatKhanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore, Pakistan, Pakistan,
(3) Department of Pathology, ShaukatKhanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore, Pakistan, Pakistan,
(4) Department of Pathology, ShaukatKhanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore, Pakistan, Pakistan,
(5) Department of Pathology, ShaukatKhanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore, Pakistan, Pakistan


Background: Non-mammary metastasis to the breast poses a diagnostic challenge for the pathologists especially when no prior history of non-mammary malignancy is provided. Since non-mammary metastasis is not a very common occurrence, there is a chance that it can be easily missed especially with overlapping morphology and unknown prior history of any malignancy.
Methods: In total, 40 patients matching our inclusion criteria were identified through hospital information system in a 10-year period. Confirmatory stains were used to confirm the diagnosis.
Results: The most common primary malignancy site was gastrointestinal tract comprising 35% of the metastasis. This was followed by small cell carcinomas (17.5%). In addition, in 72.5% of the patients, there was a known history of primary malignancy but only in 18 (45%) of the cases, the clinicians mentioned it on the biopsy request form. For the remaining cases (27.5%), the clinician was contacted after the verification of the report and was asked to evaluate the possibility of metastasis from the known primary site.
Conclusion: Identifying the non-mammary metastasis is important at the time of initial diagnosis as it can prevent the patient from extensive surgery, which might not be needed, if it is not a primary breast tumor. Provision of prior history and use of immunohistochemical stains can aid in timely and accurate diagnosis.

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Marium Hameed (Primary Contact)
Sajid Mushtaq
Usman Hassan
Mudassar Hussain
Umar Nisar Sheikh
Hameed M, Mushtaq S, Hassan U, Hussain M, Sheikh UN. Non-Mammary Metastasis To Breast; A Diagnostic Challenge: Non-Mammary Metastasis to Breast. Arch Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2022 Mar. 8 [cited 2024 Apr. 23];9(2):179-85. Available from:

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