Occult breast cancer during reduction mammoplasty: case report

Ann Ital Chir. 2013 Feb 5;84(ePub):S2239253X13020963.


Aim: Breast carcinoma occurring in routine reduction mammaplasty is rare.

Material of study: In our Breast Unit each patient eligible for any breast surgery is routinely evaluated by preoperative breast imaging. We reported the clinical case of a woman with an infiltrating lobular breast cancer detected during surgical reduction mammaplasty despite a negative preoperative bilateral mammography.

Results: The clinical case was discussed at multidisciplinary breast cancer meeting in order to evaluate the different therapeutic options. In conjunction with general surgeons, oncologists, radiologists and radiotherapists, and upon patient's ultimate decision, a conservative tumor approach was chosen: first-level axillary node dissection followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and hormonotherapy.

Discussion: The mean frequency of breast cancer detection during reduction mammaplasty ranges from 0.06% up to 4%. There are many possible treatment choices for these patients ranging from radical mastectomy to more conservative approaches dealing with lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy and radiation therapy alone. The therapeutical plan must be discussed by a multidisciplinary team and many tumors and patients characteristics should be evaluated in the decision making process.

Conclusion: All patients selected for breast aesthetical surgery must be screened, during preoperative workup, for breast cancer. Combination of three diagnostic modalities increases sensitivity and reaches the diagnostic accuracy of 93.2%. The reported case stresses the importance of an oncological approach to breast surgery even in case of planned aesthetical procedures.

Keywords: Breast cancer, Infiltrating lobular carcinoma, Reduction Mammopasty, Mammography, Macromastia, Occult breast carcinoma..

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings
  • Mammaplasty*