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J Chin Med Assoc. 2009 Mar;72(3):150-2. doi: 10.1016/S1726-4901(09)70041-3.

Nerve invasion by epithelial cells in benign breast diseases.

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Department of Pathology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Tamshui, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Nerve invasion by glandular epithelial cells in a lesion is usually regarded as invasive carcinoma. However, some benign conditions in the pancreas, prostate, breast and other organs may show involvement of nerve bundles by benign epithelial cells. We report an 18-year-old female with nerve invasion in benign breast disease. The lesion in her right breast revealed fibrocystic changes with ductal hyperplasia and stromal sclerosis. Perineural and intraneural involvement by bland-looking small ducts lined by 2 layers of cells including an outer layer of myoepithelial cells were found, suggestive of benign nerve invasion. There was no evidence of malignant cells in any of the sections. The patient remains well after 31 months of follow-up. About 44 cases of nerve invasion in benign breast diseases have been reported in the literature. It is necessary to carefully evaluate nerve involvement in breast lesions to avoid over-diagnosis and inappropriate operation.

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