Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2004 Nov;88(1):43-7.

Clinical experience with axillary presentation breast cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Senology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.


We present our experience of 50 cases of occult primary tumours presenting as axillary metastases, all with histological report of adenocarcinoma compatible with mammary carcinoma. After bilateral US and mammography, with MRI and mammoscintigraphy where necessary, ipsilateral breast cancer was suspected in 23 cases and quadrantectomy performed. Breast cancer was found only in 12 (24%). In the other 27 women there was no clinical or instrumental suspicion of breast cancer or other primary disease site, so the main treatment was complete axillary dissection plus radiotherapy to the ipsilateral breast (given to all patients). Chemotherapy alone was given to 27 patients, hormone treatment to 5 patients, and both to 18. Mean follow-up is 41.3 months (range 108-1). Thirty-nine (84%) patients are alive with no evidence of disease, two are alive with breast disease, five patients have died of metastatic disease (with no evidence breast disease). Our experience, like that of the literature, confirms that the breast should be extensively investigated but that blanket investigations are not usually revealing. We present guidelines for the work-up of patients presenting with axillary disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk