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Flashcards in Tumors Of The Reproductive System Deck (28):

List the common breast diseases

Infection/Inflammation (Mastitis)

Benign lesions



Describe the clinical presentation of breast conditions

Pain - diffuse cyclic pain is non-pathologic, non-cyclic tends to be localised

Palpable mass

Nipple discharge

Skin changes

Lumpy tissue


What is the relationship between age and breast tumours?

Benign tumours tend to be in younger women (pre-menopausal) whereas older women tend to have malignant changes.

The majority of breast lumps are due to fibrocystic changes or have no underlying pathology. 10% are actually cancer


How are breast lesions investigated and diagnosed?

Triple approach

Clinical - history and examination
Radiological - mammography, ultrasound
Pathology - cytology, cor biopsy


Describe the features of benign breast changes

Benign changes in ducts and lobules classified as:

non-proliferative - fibrocystic changes, dense breast with cysts or fibrosis from chronic inflammation

proliferative: epithelial hyperplasia, papillomas,

atypical hyperplasia. cell hyperplasia however lack defining features of DCIS/LCIS e.g. do not fully distend the duct or lobule.


Describe the features of benign breast tumours

Occurs in young women, multiple and bilateral
Spherical nodules, clearly circumscribed and freely moveable. Bulge into the surrounding tissue Proliferation of interlobular stroma distorts epithelium.


What are the risk factors for breast cancer

Increasing age
Family history
Hormonal factors - early menarche, late menopause
Proliferative breast disease
Diet - High levels of fat, moderate to heavy alcohol consumption


Patterns of metastasis for breast cancer

Local: skin/muscle
Lymph nodes: axilla
Blood:bone, brain, liver, lung
Trans coelomic: pleura, peritoneal


Briefly describe the epidemiology of breast cancer

Commonest tumor in women
More common in developed world (lifestyle factors)
More common in women over 50 (post menopause


Describe the pathobiology of breast cancer

Earliest detectable change - loss of normal regulation of cell number resulting in epithelial hyperplasia, sclerosing adenosis and proliferative changes

Genetic instability in multiple small clonal populations (atypical hyperplasia)

Carcinoma in situ: Multiple other changes in malignancy - increased expression of oncogenes; decreased expression of tumor suppressors; alteration in cell structure

Invasive carcinoma:loss of cell-adhesion; increase in cell cycle proteins; increased angiogenesis


Mammographic screening

used to detect small non-palpable asymptomatic breast cancers, effectiveness increases with age as there is atrophy of the breast tissue, ulrasound tends to be used in younger women


Significance of the presence of oestrogen receptors in breast carcinomas?

Differences in patient characteristics, pathology, treatment and outcome.


Difference betwen invasive carcinoma and carcinoma in situ (breast)

Carcinoma in situ refers to a neoplastic proliferation that is limited to ducts and lobules by the basement membrane.

Invasive carcinoma has penetrated through the basement membrane into the stroma


Types of malignant breast tumours


Ductal carcinoma - hard, irregular border (spiculate mass), tubule formation, solid clusters of infiltrating cells

Lobular carcinoma - diffusely infiltrates the tissue causing a stromal reaction. Difficult to detect by palpation. Cells ararnged in single file/sheets. No tubule formation. Metastasis to GIT and peritoneumaa


Axillary node clearance in breast cancer

70% of breast cancer have no metastasis

Assess the sentinel node - the first node in the tumour drainage path. If clear it is unlikely the cancer has metastasised.

Remove sentinel node it metastasis and then treat with chemotherapy.


Management of invasive breast cancer

Surgery - mastectomy, breast conservation


Paget's disease of the nipple

Rare manifestation of breast cancer

Unilateral erythematous eruption with a scale crust. Pruritis is common, may be mistaken for eczema.
Malignant cells extend from DCIS in the ductal system into tthe nipple. Disrput epithelial barrier and fluid seeps out onto nipple surface.


Prognostic factors for breast cancer

Hormone receptor status (HER-2/oestrogen receptor)
TNM staging
Grade of tumour
Histological type


Cervical cancer

Presents in women aged 45-65 (bleeding or aymptomatic). 90% squamous cell at transformation zone between ecto and endocervix, 10% adenocarcinoma.

Affected by age of first sex, HPV infection, smoking.

Key prognostic factors: size, depth of invasion, node involvement

Preinvasive cancer detected by cytology (25-64).


Endometrial cancer

Mean age of presentation 55 years (most postmenopausal)

Adenocarcinoma that spreads to myometrium. Caused by excessive oestrogen stimulation (obesity, PCOS, HRT, tamoxifen) or endometrial atrophy

Present with abnormal bleeding

Older patients have a worse prognosis


Uterine fibroids

Benign smooth muscle leiomyoma

Causes infertility, abnormal bleeding, ectopic pregnancy, abdominal mass, urinary frequency

Sharply circumscribed, discrete, firm white tumours


Ovarian neoplasms

Epithelial - arise from the surface mesothelium. Serous tumour, cystadenofibroma

Germ cell - teratoma, choriocarcinoma

Stromal - fibroma

Ovarian cancers are usually solid or papillary adenocarciomas. Spreads to peritoneum and adjacent organs, late presentation.


Testicular neoplasms

Rare, 90% germ cell tumours
Occur in young-middle aged men.
Present as painlessly enlarged tetis

Seminoma - resemble primordial germ cells. prognosis related to differentiation

Teratoma - tissues of the three germ layers represented, more aggressive, prognosis related to differentiation



Benign, localised proliferation of the breast ducts and stroma

Firm, rubbery, well circumscribed

Presents as mobile lump of the breast in young women (25-30)


Grading of breast cancer

Describes cytological changes

Grade 1 - tubular structure

Grade 2: disorganised glandular structure, mitoses

Grade 3: no glands, mitoses, poorly differentiated tissue, pleimorphic nuclei


Presentation of breast tumours on examination

Malignant cancer - hard, irregular surface and diffuse edges

Benign - soft and flat

Depressed nipple

Eczematic change in the nipple (Pagets)

Dimple (if cancer is tethered to skin)

Oedema and orange peel appearance


Benign breast diseases

Fibrocystic disease
Sclerosing lesions
Epithelial hyperplasia
Benign tumours


Breast carcinoma in situ

Ductal CIS - duct lined by large tumour cells and fibrosis, distorted acini (appear like ducts), necrosis and calcification. 1/3 become malignant

Lobular CIS - normal lobular architecture, increased size, packed with atypical cells. Risk of invasive cancer in both breasts