Breast carcinoma: pattern of metastasis at autopsy

J Surg Oncol. 1983 Jul;23(3):175-80. doi: 10.1002/jso.2930230311.


Breast cancer is known to metastasize to all organs of the human body, and its manifestations are protean. It is almost impossible to predict which organ system will be invaded. Since 1950, there are seven autopsy series of patients with breast carcinoma published in the English literature. All data came from American hospitals (total of 2,147 patients), and each report studied more than 100 patients with breast cancer. The reported incidence of involvement of different organ sites are presented in Table I. Although the data came from different institutions and spanned over 35 years (1943-1977), the findings regarding metastatic involvement of specific organs are fairly similar.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / secondary
  • Age Factors
  • Autopsy
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / secondary