What are histologic findings of metaplastic breast cancer?

Updated: Feb 04, 2021
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Metaplastic breast cancer (MBC) accounts for fewer than 1% of breast cancer cases. It tends to occur in older women (average age of onset in the sixth decade) and has a higher incidence in blacks. It is characterized by a combination of adenocarcinoma plus mesenchymal and epithelial components.

A wide variety of histologic patterns includes the following:

  • Spindle-cell carcinoma
  • Carcinosarcoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of ductal origin
  • Adenosquamous carcinoma
  • Carcinoma with pseudosarcomatous metaplasia
  • Matrix-producing carcinoma

This diverse group of malignancies is identified as a single entity on the basis of a similarity in clinical behavior. Compared with infiltrating ductal carcinoma, MBC tumors are larger, faster-growing, commonly node-negative, and typically negative for ER, PR, and HER2.

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