Light and electron microscopic study of an invasive cribriform carcinoma with extensive microcalcification developing in a breast with silicone augmentation

Ultrastruct Pathol. 1994 Sep-Oct;18(5):519-23. doi: 10.3109/01913129409023228.


Although recent epidemiologic studies suggest that silicone augmentation of the breast is not associated with an increased risk of mammary carcinoma, cases of breast carcinoma arising in augmented breasts are being increasingly encountered as a large number of patients who had augmentation are getting older. A case of a 51-year-old woman with a 20-year history of breast augmentation who developed an invasive cribriform carcinoma associated with extensive microcalcification is presented. The patient had submammary silicone implants 20 years ago that were replaced, because of local complications, in subpectoral positions 10 years later. Dispersive X-ray microanalysis failed to demonstrate silicone in sections of the tumor and adjacent breast tissue. Appropriately fixed tumor tissue was available for electron microscopic examination. The tumor cells were rich in mitochondria, and their luminal surfaces were endowed with abundant microvilli, but the cell surfaces that came closest to the calcified microspheriols were devoid of microvilli and had cellular buddings between the microspheriols. It is suggested that the tumor cells might have been actively involved in the process of microcalcification.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / ultrastructure
  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Calcinosis / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Silicones / adverse effects*


  • Silicones