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Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer with spindle cells

07/14/2004

Question:

I had a lump in my breast, the lump was removed and the pathology report stated: diagnosed with metaplastic carcinoma, the spindled neoplastic cells are positive for wide spectrum keratin. The lump was removed, and a modified radical mastectomy was preformed and the lymph nodes in the armpit were removed and they were all found to be negative. My cancer was Stage 1, and the mass at largest diameter was 1.9cm. My primary physician, surgeon and oncologist have not heard of spindle cells, especially as it relates to breast cancer. I understand there are very few cases, so few in fact that know studies have been done, that would suggest if further treatment is needed. I am scheduled to have four treatments of chemotherapy, beginning July 14, 2004 and three weeks later I will receive my second dose and continue at three week intervals until 4 doses have been given. Can you please tell me about spindle cells as they relate to breast cancer. I appreciate your answer.

Answer:

Metaplastic carcinoma of the breast represent a morphologically heterogenous group of invasive breast cancers. Investigators at the AFIP (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology) place metaplastic carcinomas into five categories: squamous cell, spindle cell, carcinosarcomas, matrix producing, and carcinomas with osteoclastlike giant cells. Prognosis, treatment and surgery for these tumors are similar to more common types of breast cancer. Based on your note, you are getting appropriate care.

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Response by:

Syed A Ahmad, MD Syed A Ahmad, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati