Carcinoid tumor of the breast: Treatment with breast conservation in three patients

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Carcinoid tumors of the breast have been described in the literature. The diagnosis is made by identification of typical histologic features and confirmed by a positive argyrophilic reaction or the presence of neurosecretory granules. There are several theories of the pathogenesis of carcinoid tumors in the breast and controversy as to whether these tumors actually originate in the breast ducts or are tumors that arise from neuroectodermal cells that have migrated to the breast ducts. Historically, treatment of carcinoid of the breast has been by mastectomy.


We report three cases of primary carcinoid tumor of the breast treated with lumpectomy and axillary node dissection. No adjuvant radiation or systemic treatment was administered.


In all three cases, no metastases were identified in lymph nodes sampled and all patients have remained clinically free of recurrent disease.


Decisions about the need for radiation or systemic treatment of breast carcinoid tumors depend on one's interpretation of the pathogenesis of this disease. Breast conservation is a surgical option that has not been previously reported. Larger series of carcinoid tumors of the breast, their treatment, and their follow-up are needed.

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