Prevalence of benign, atypical, and malignant breast lesions in populations at different risk for breast cancer. A forensic autopsy study

Cancer. 1987 Dec 1;60(11):2751-60. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19871201)60:11<2751::aid-cncr2820601127>;2-m.


A forensic autopsy series of 519 women more than 14 years old was studied for prevalence of benign, atypical, and occult malignant breast lesions. The women included Anglos (non-Hispanic whites), Hispanics, and American Indians from New Mexico and Eastern Arizona. These three ethnic/racial groups are at markedly different risk for the development of breast cancer (Anglo 89 of 100,000 women per year, Hispanic 45.5, and American Indian 24.9. There were striking ethnic/racial and age-related differences in both the prevalence and magnitude of all forms of nonproliferative and proliferative fibrocystic disease. The various subsets of fibrocystic disease were highly associated with each other. Such lesions as apocrine metaplasia, sclerosing adenosis, and lobular microcalcification showed as much difference according to ethnic/racial background and age as the more common cystic change and duct epithelial hyperplasia. Atypical lobular and ductal hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ, and occult invasive carcinoma were uncommon and also occurred in ethnic/racial groups in a pattern that parallels the cancer risk in those groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenofibroma / pathology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autopsy
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Female
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Metaplasia
  • Middle Aged
  • New Mexico
  • Risk Factors