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Surg Today. 2011 Apr;41(4):542-5. doi: 10.1007/s00595-009-4305-1. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Metastatic breast carcinoma simulating linitis plastica of the colon: report of a case.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Hamanomachi Hospital, 3-5-27 Maizuru, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, 810-8539, Japan.


A 48-year-old woman developed a mobile abdominal mass in the course of treatment for recurrent breast cancer. Imaging studies indicated linitis plastica of the colon. She underwent surgery because of the stenosis of the transverse colon. An examination of the resected specimen revealed a segmental stricture, thickening of the entire wall, and a granular mucosa resembling cobblestones. Microscopic findings of the colon lesion were very similar to those of her primary, invasive lobular carcinoma of the breast. Atypical cells showed immunoreactivity for cytokeratin-7, but not for cytokeratin-20. These findings suggested that the lesion of the colon was a colonic metastasis of breast cancer. Metastatic gastrointestinal diseases originating from breast carcinoma are unusual, and colonic metastases are especially rare. Although colon cancer may occur in patients with a history of breast cancer, metastatic colon cancer should be suspected if linitis plastica is detected.

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