Adenoid cystic carcinoma intermingled with ductal carcinoma of the breast: a case report and review of the literature.


Adenoid cystic cancer of the breast is a rare condition, and even rarer are the cases where it is histologically mixed with other variants of cancer within a single lesion. In this report, one of the few cases of mixed adenoid cystic breast cancer intermingled with the infiltrating ductal variant is presented. A subsequent review of the relevant literature presents the existing experience in treating mixed breast cancers with adenoid cystic components with regard to diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.


We describe a case of mixed adenoid cystic cancer of the breast with infiltrating ductal carcinoma in a 67-year-old Caucasian woman who underwent mastectomy with sentinel node biopsy.


Surgery remains the cornerstone of treatment of these patients, and radiotherapy is administered when breast-conserving treatment is undertaken or a large tumor with affected lymph nodes is present. Hormonal treatment does not have a role, as estrogen receptors are always absent from both tumor components. Chemotherapy is nearly always administered on the basis of estrogen receptor and progesterone negativity and the more aggressive potential of the non-adenoid cystic component. The de-differentiation of an indolent type of cancer to a more aggressive one may affect the prognosis.

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