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What Is Mucinous Carcinoma Of The Breast

Mammographic Features Common To Mucinous Cystadenocarcinoma Of The Breast

Mucinous or colloid carcinoma

Mammographic and ultrasonographic images of breast mucinous cystadenocarcinoma tend to be indistinguishable from more common mucinous carcinoma of the breast. Commonly, one sees a well defined, possibly multilobular tumor with often does not have spiculated margins or intralesional microcalcifications.

Axillary Node Metastasis Is Uncommon For Smaller Tumors

Axillary lymph node metastasis is rare for tumors less than 3cm in diameter, and comedo or plugged-duct growth patterns are infrequent, occurring in approximately 11% of cases. So for women with pure mucinous carcinoma, breast conserving therapies might be a reasonable option. Unless the tumor is larger than 5 cm or invading the local skin, non surgical treatments are quite reasonable.

Mucinous Breast Cancer Treatment

Local therapy is aimed at preventing the cancer from coming back in the breast. Local therapy includes surgery , and may include radiation.

Systemic therapy is used to prevent the disease from coming back or spreading to another part of the body. This may include endocrine therapy, chemotherapy, and therapy that targets the HER2 protein. Often different types of treatment are used together to achieve the best result.

Your treatment plan will be based on the features of the tumor and the stage of the disease . Your oncology team will recommend a treatment plan based on what is known about mucinous breast cancer in general and tailored to your specific disease.

We know that it can be stressful to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer, and learning that you have a rare form of the disease can add to your anxiety. We hope it will be reassuring to know that our team at the Center for Rare Breast Tumors is dedicated to latest research and treatment of mucinous breast cancer, and is here to support patients and their families through diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

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What Is Mucinous Carcinoma

Mucinous carcinoma is a type of invasive cancer in which mucin the main component of mucus surrounds the cancer cells.

While this form of cancer can develop in any part of the body that produces mucin, most cases occur in the breast. Colloid carcinoma is another name for mucinous carcinoma of the breast.

This type of cancer can form alongside other cancer cells, such as those of ductal breast cancer. When this happens, doctors refer to it as mixed mucinous carcinoma. By contrast, pure mucinous carcinoma has

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes


Diagnosis of mucinous breast carcinoma needs an interprofessional approach involving a team that consists of a surgical oncologist, an oncologist, a pathologist, and a radiologist. Treatment involves a surgeon, specialty care nurses, pharmacists, and oncologists. Pharmacists review drug regimens and check for drug-drug interactions. Specialty care nurses are involved and should assist the clinical team in patient education, monitor treatment, and provided feedback to the team. After treatment of mucinous breast carcinoma, long-term follow up is necessary to detect local and distant relapse.

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How Can Mucinous Carcinoma Of Breast Be Prevented

The following measures may help in reducing the risk for Mucinous Carcinoma of Breast:

General lifestyle changes:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly physical activity can reduce risk, especially in post-menopausal women
  • Implement and follow a well-balanced diet a high intake of fiber via fresh fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk
  • Drink alcohol in moderation limit to one or two drinks a day
  • Limit combination hormone therapy used to treat symptoms of menopause. It is advised that individuals be aware of the potential benefits and risks of hormone therapy
  • Cancer screenings can help detect any breast cancer, at its earliest stages
  • Learn to do âbreast self-examsâ, in order to help identify any unusual lumps, signs in the breasts

In women with a high risk for developing Mammary Mucinous Carcinoma, the physician may suggest the following:

  • Preventative medications: The medications tamoxifen and raloxifene are estrogen-blocking drugs that can help prevent the onset of breast cancer in women at high risk. Both drugs have potential side effects including being at a higher risk for blood clots
  • Preventative mastectomy: Prophylactic mastectomy, a procedure to surgically remove healthy breasts, is another possible preventative option for women, at a high risk for breast cancer

How Is Mucinous Carcinoma Of Breast Treated

Treatment options available for individuals with Mucinous Carcinoma of Breast are dependent upon the following:

  • Type of cancer
  • The staging of the cancer
  • Whether the cancer cells are sensitive to certain particular hormones, and
  • Personal preferences

In general, breast cancer stages range from 0 to IV. 0 may indicate a small and non-invasive cancer, while IV indicates that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. Briefly, as per National Cancer Institute , breast cancer is staged as follows:

  • Stage 0 : The abnormal cancer cells are confined to their site of origin
  • Stage I: The tumor is 2 centimeters in diameter or less, and has not spread outside the breast
  • Stage II: The tumor may be up to 5 centimeters in diameter and may have spread to lymph nodes. Another criteria is that the tumor may be larger than 5 centimeters in diameter, but has not spread to surrounding lymph nodes
  • Stage III: The tumor may be more than 5 centimeters in diameter and may have spread to several axillary lymph nodes, or to the lymph nodes near the breastbone. The cancer may also have spread to the breast skin/chest wall, causing ulcer-like sores, or a swelling
  • Stage IV: The tumor has spread outside the breast and to other organs, such as the bones, liver, lungs, or brain, regardless of its size

If breast cancer is diagnosed, staging helps determine whether it has spread and which treatment options are best for the patient.

Hormone therapy:

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Average Age For Development Of Mucinous Cystadenocarcinoma Of The Breast Is About 50

It is believed that mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the breast arises from mucinous metaplasia and macrocystic transformation of ordinary breast carcinoma . The average age for developing mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the breast is in the late 50s and does seem a bit more common in older women. Breast mucinous cystadenocarcinoma is highly invasive, but, still tends to be associated with a positive prognosis.

What Are The Causes Of Mucinous Carcinoma Of Breast

Breast ductal carcinoma (Breast cancer)

The exact cause of development of Mucinous Carcinoma is currently not clearly known.

  • Studies have shown that such tumors may be caused by hormonal influence
  • Certain gene mutations have also been reported in the tumors. Research is being performed to determine how these mutations contribute to the formation of the tumors

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Palliative Surgery For Giant Mucinous Carcinoma Of The Breast In An Elderly Patient: A Rare Case Report

  • Affiliations: Department of Breast Surgery, Shiga Medical Center for Adults, Moriyama, Shiga 5248524, Japan
  • Pages: 609-614
  • This article is mentioned in:



    Mucinous breast carcinoma of the breast is aspecial type of breast cancer that is characterized by the presenceof carcinoma cells surrounded by large amounts of extracellularmucin . MBC may be encountered inall age groups, and the median age at presentation is 5057 years. MBC comprises approximately < 10% ofall invasive breast cancers. This type of tumor has an overallbetter prognosis and a higher incidence among peri- andpost-menopausal patients. Pathologically, there are two mainsubtypes of MBC, namely pure type MBC and mixed type MBC . PMBC in particular isknown to have a favorable prognosis compared with invasive ductalcarcinoma . We herein report a case of a giant MBCcausing rupture of the skin and bleeding due to tumor pressure, andreview the characteristics and palliative management of thesetumors, particularly in elderly patients.

    Case report

    Laboratory data revealed marked elevation of theserum tumor markers carcinoembryonic antigen and carbohydrateantigen 153 to 175.1 ng/ml and 196.0 U/ml,respectively.


    3 0


    Treatment Of Mucinous Carcinoma Of The Breast

    You and your doctor will work together to develop your treatment plan for mucinous carcinoma of the breast. If you have a pure mucinous carcinoma meaning that 90-100% of the tumor is made up of the characteristic cells floating in mucus, without other types of breast cancer cells mixed in it typically will require less treatment than other types of invasive ductal carcinoma . If another type of IDC is found to make up 10% or more of the tumor, you have mixed mucinous carcinoma. Your treatment plan will address both the mucinous carcinoma and the other IDC type. You can visit our Treatment for IDC section for more information.

    Pure mucinous carcinoma is less likely to spread to the axillary lymph nodes than other types of IDC. Estimates on how often this happens vary, but on average its thought to occur in about 15% of women with mucinous carcinoma.

    Some recent research has suggested that, in cases of mucinous carcinoma, a certain percentage of women will have more than one mucinous tumor in the breast. For example, a 2009 study at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found that, in a sample of more than 260 women with mucinous carcinoma, about 38% had more than one area of cancer within the breast. Research is ongoing, but you may want to discuss this information with your doctor and see what he or she recommends.

    Your treatment plan for pure mucinous carcinoma can include:

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    Clinicopathological Characteristics Of Mucinous Breast Cancer: A Retrospective Analysis Of A 10

    • Contributed equally to this work with: Lei Lei, Xingfei Yu

      Affiliation Department of Medical Oncology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, P. R. China

    • Contributed equally to this work with: Lei Lei, Xingfei Yu

      Affiliation Department of Breast Tumor Surgery, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, P. R. China

    • Affiliation Department of Pathology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, P. R. China

    • Affiliation Department of Medical Oncology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, P. R. China

    Other Considerations And Treatment Options For Mucinous Carcinoma


    Mucinous cancer tends to be highly estrogen-dependent, and HER2/neu negative. It also typically releases a sialic acid called C9-O, which is quite easy to spot through histo-chemical analysis. Mucinous breast carcinoma tends to feature palpable tumors . These tumors are often highly positive for estrogen receptors, but HER2/neu negative. Lymph node metastasis is actually somewhat rare is ER negative . It has also been suggested that mucinous carcinoma of the breast is more aggressive when diagnosed in younger women.

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    What Is The Prognosis Of Mucinous Carcinoma Of Breast

  • An early diagnosis and prompt treatment of the tumor generally yields better outcomes than a late diagnosis and delayed treatment
  • The combination chemotherapy drugs used, may have some severe side effects . This chiefly impacts the elderly adults, or those who are already affected by other medical conditions. Tolerance to the chemotherapy sessions is a positive influencing factor
  • Mixed And Pure Mucinous Carcinoma

    On the whole, mucinous cancer of the breast tends to be a low to medium grade, slow-growing carcinoma. However, some variants of the disease are more aggressive than others.

    If the histological evaluation reveals that mucinous elements are mixed in with the collections of malignant cells, rather than being completely expelled to the surrounding mucous lakes, the prognosis is somewhat less favorable.

    A pure mucinous cancer contains no mucous within the malignant elements, and this seems to be a more favorable disposition.

    Clinical studies demonstrate that the mixed presentation is more likely to metastasize to the lymph nodes. Other studies show that the presence of neuro-endocrine cells may be associated with the less-aggressive, pure carcinoma.

    There is also speculation that an alternating pattern of malignant cell orientation may lead to a slower tumor growth pattern, due to the bonding and containment benefits of the surrounding stroma.

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    Treatment Options For Mucinous Carcinoma

    Treatment options vary based on the area of the body the cancer is, the stage of the cancer at diagnosis, as well as other health factors. However, in most cases you will have either one or a combination of the following treatment options:

    • surgery to remove the tumor and any other affected areas
    • radiation therapy, which involves high-energy rays directed at the specific area of the tumor
    • chemotherapy, which uses cancer medication that targets your entire body, not just the area of the tumor, to kill cancer cells anywhere else they may have spread
    • hormonal therapy to block or lower the amount of estrogen
    • other targeted therapies

    Additional And Relevant Useful Information For Mucinous Carcinoma Of Breast:

    Histopathology Breast–Colloid carcinoma
    • Japan is an exception of a developed nation with lowered cases of breast cancer, unlike European nations and America
    • Current studies have shown that aromatase inhibitors, medications that block estrogen hormonal effects in the body, reduce the risk of recurrence of breast cancer. Recent studies have shown that treatment using aromatase inhibitors can be given up to 10 years without affecting the quality of life of women
    • Tumors that are negative for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2/neu have worse prognosis. Such tumors are called âtriple-negativeâ tumors

    The following DoveMed website links are useful resources for additional information:

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    Grading / Staging / Report

    • Usually low grade cytology but all degrees of atypia may be found
    • Bloom-Scarff-Richardson grading scheme is most widely used
    • Total score and each of the three components should be reported
    • Based on invasive area only
    Tubule formation
    Nuclear pleomorphism

    Small, regular, uniform nuclei, uniform chromatin 1
    Moderate varibility in size and shape, vesicular, with visible nucleoli 2
    Mitotic figure count per 10 40x fields

    • Olympus BX50, BX40 or BH2 or AO or Nikon with 15x eyepiece: 0.096 mm2
    • AO with 10x eyepiece: 0.12 mm2
    • Nikon or Olympus with 10x eyepiece: 0.16 mm2
    • Leitz Ortholux: 0.27 mm2
    • Leitz Diaplan: 0.31 mm2
    • Mitotic count figures based on original data presented for Leitz Ortholux by Elston and Ellis 1991, with modifications based on pubished and measured areas of view
    • Evaluate regions of most active growth, usually in cellular areas at periphery
    • We employ strict criteria for identification of mitotic figures
    Sum of above three components

    Overall grade
    Grade III


    • TNM staging is the most widely used scheme for breast carcinomas but is not universally employed
    • Critical staging criteria for regional lymph nodes
    • Isolated tumor cell clusters
    • Term also applies if cells identified by close examination of H& E stain
  • No cluster may be greater than 0.2 mm
  • Multiple such clusters may be present in the same or other nodes
  • Micrometastasis
  • Greater than 0.2 mm, none greater than 2.0 mm
  • Metastasis
  • At least one carcinoma focus over 2.0 mm
  • Note extranodal extension
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    Mucinous Cystadenocarcinoma Of The Breast

    Mammary mucinous cystadenocarcinoma is a rare type of invasive breast cancer that derives its name from having a virtually identical morphologically to mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the pancreas, appendix, or ovary.

    It is basically a malignant presentation of a normally benign cystadenoma , which is a type of cystic adenoma. Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the breast is distinct from the more common mucinous breast carcinoma . In addition, this condition is also distinct from cystic hypersecretory carcinoma of the breast.

    I just want to let you know that I have a newer version of this page with more up-to-date information on lobular types of breast cancer. However, this page still has great material, and I still recommend it for research.

    These tumors also must be differentiated from metastasis of cancer cells from other sites. Mammary mucinous cystadenocarcinoma is composed primarily of tall columnar cells with abundant intracytoplasmic mucin. Unlike ordinary mucinous carcinoma, primary mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the breast usually demonstrates both intracellular and extracellular mucin, whereas in mucinous breast carcinoma the malignant cells are suspended in extracellular mucin.

    Mucins are various glycoproteins in connective tissue, saliva, mucus, etc., that lubricate and protect the body. Mucinous breast carcinomas usually appear as islands of malignant cells suspended within lakes of mucous.

    Ethics Approval And Consent To Participate A Collection of Surgical Pathology Images

    The work described in this article has been carried out in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association on medical research involving human subjects the ethical principles defined in the Farmington Consensus of 1997. The study was approved by the Bioethics Committee of the Medical University of Warsaw.

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    Citation Doi And Article Data

    Citation:DOI:The RadswikiRevisions:see full revision historySystems:

    • Mucinous carcinoma of breast
    • Colloid breast cancer
    • Colloid carcinoma of the breast
    • Mucinous breast carcinoma
    • Gelatinous carcinoma of the breast

    Mucinous carcinoma of the breast, also known as colloid breast carcinoma, is a subtype of invasive ductal carcinoma . They account for about ~ 2% of breast cancers.


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