Advanced Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast Presenting as an Ulcerated Anterior Chest Wall Tumour: Case Report


BACKGROUND: Papillary carcinoma of the breast is a rare malignant tumour accounting for 1% - 2% of all breast cancers in women. Papillary carcinomas of the chest wall are always secondary to thyroid, thymus and ovaries. Other variants of breast cancer metastasizing to the chest wall have been reported. CASE: We report a 67-year-old woman presented to us with an ulcerated anterior chest wall mass of 1-year duration, bilateral axillary, supraclavicular and cervical swellings of 8-month duration. There was a history of breast lump which was noticed 5 years prior to presentation, no history of breast malignancy in the past and no family history of breast cancer. Examination revealed an ulcerated, nodular mass over the sternal angle which measured 14 cm × 12 cm × 4 cm; she had bilateral axillary, supraclavicular and cervical lymphadenopathy which were non-tender and matted. She had a firm, non-tender right breast lump measuring 6 cm × 4 cm. Chest examination and abdominal examinations were essentially normal. Chest X-ray revealed erosion of sternal bone without any evidence of intrathoracic extension. Abdominal ultrasound and thyroid scans were normal. Histology of the mass revealed papillary carcinoma. Biopsy of the right breast also revealed papillary carcinoma. She had excision of the fungating tumour and primary closure of defect. She subsequently had combination chemotherapy using ondasetron, cyclophosphamide, adriamycin and cisplantin. CONCLUSION: Papillary carcinoma of the breast is rare and rarely metastasizes to the chest wall. The diagnosis of metastatic chest wall tumour requires meticulous history taking, clinical examination and relevant investigations to ascertain the primary origin of the carcinoma.

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Abubakar, U. , Legbo, J. , Sahabi, S. , Opara, C. , Jamalu, I. , Musa, N. and Aliyu, S. (2014) Advanced Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast Presenting as an Ulcerated Anterior Chest Wall Tumour: Case Report. Advances in Breast Cancer Research, 3, 1-4. doi: 10.4236/abcr.2014.31001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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