Tubular Carcinoma of the Breast: A Single Institution's Experience of a Favorable Prognosis

Am Surg. 2016 Jun;82(6):505-9.


Tubular carcinoma is a subtype of invasive breast cancer that comprises 1 to 4 per cent of invasive breast cancers. Prior studies show nearly 100 per cent 15 year survival rate for tubular carcinoma compared to the 89.2 per cent five year survival of all breast cancers. These encouraging statistics beg the question should tubular cancers be treated as other invasive cancers, or can some patients be spared an invasive procedure or the side effects of adjuvant therapy? Fifty-seven cases of tubular carcinoma over 16 years were analyzed. All relevant aspects of the patient's history, treatment, and outcomes were documented. The aim was compare treatment outcomes of tubular breast cancer outcomes to that of all invasive breast cancers. Of the 57 patients, local recurrence was seen in two patients (3.5%) only one of which recurred as a tubular carcinoma (1.75%). There were no cancer-related mortalities. A look into our institution's data supported the notion that tubular carcinoma of the breast is a less aggressive histological type. Of our 57 cases, only two recurrences (3.5%) were noted and there were no cancer-related mortalities. Interestingly only one patient (1.75%) recurred as tubular carcinoma. Without controlling for adjuvant therapy, recommendations cannot be made for a less aggressive treatment plan at this point. Future randomized controlled trials may lead to a less aggressive treatment plan for this favorable subtype. On the basis of this study and others like it, physicians can give evidenced-based favorable prognosis with a diagnosis of tubular carcinoma of the breast.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography
  • Mastectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome