Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Involving the Breast

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Breast involvement by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is rare. Differences between primary and secondary breast lymphoma have been reported, and a relationship between primary breast lymphoma and lymphomas of mucosaassociated lymphoid tissue has been suggested. We reviewed 61 cases of breast lymphoma (41 primary, 13 secondary, and 7 unclear) that included 28 right-sided masses at presentation, 17 left-sided, 12 bilateral, and 4 in which the side was not known. A subgroup of bilateral breast lymphomas was identified that occurred in young women, four of which were pregnant or postpartum. A high incidence of intermediate- and high-grade lymphomas were present in both cases of primary and secondary lymphomas as was a high frequency of B-cell phenotype. Additional immunohistochemical studies failed to demonstrate evidence of marginal or mantle cell differentiation in seven of eight cases studied. Lymphoepithelial lesions were identified in a majority of cases, including 67% of primary and 64% of secondary lymphomas. This study failed to demonstrate a morphologic difference between primary or secondary lymphomas of the breast and suggests that breast lymphomas differ from other extranodal lymphomas in that the latter are frequently low grade.

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