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Int J Breast Cancer. 2012;2012:395415. doi: 10.1155/2012/395415. Epub 2012 Oct 21.

The role of large-format histopathology in assessing subgross morphological prognostic parameters: a single institution report of 1000 consecutive breast cancer cases.

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1
Department of Pathology and Clinical Cytology, Central Hospital Falun, 791 82, Falun, Sweden.

Abstract

Breast cancer subgross morphological parameters (disease extent, lesion distribution, and tumor size) provide significant prognostic information and guide therapeutic decisions. Modern multimodality radiological imaging can determine these parameters with increasing accuracy in most patients. Large-format histopathology preserves the spatial relationship of the tumor components and their relationship to the resection margins and has clear advantages over traditional routine pathology techniques. We report a series of 1000 consecutive breast cancer cases worked up with large-format histology with detailed radiological-pathological correlation. We confirmed that breast carcinomas often exhibit complex subgross morphology in both early and advanced stages. Half of the cases were extensive tumors and occupied a tissue space ≥40 mm in its largest dimension. Because both in situ and invasive tumor components may exhibit unifocal, multifocal, and diffuse lesion distribution, 17 different breast cancer growth patterns can be observed. Combining in situ and invasive tumor components, most cases fall into three aggregate growth patterns: unifocal (36%), multifocal (35%), and diffuse (28%). Large-format histology categories of tumor size and disease extent were concordant with radiological measurements in approximately 80% of the cases. Noncalcified, low-grade in situ foci, and invasive tumor foci <5 mm were the most frequent causes of discrepant findings.

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