Characteristics and long-term survival of patients diagnosed with pure tubular carcinoma of the breast.

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Pure tubular carcinomas (TC) of the breast are generally considered to have an excellent prognosis. This study aimed to analyze the characteristics and survival of patients with TC.


This was a retrospective study conducted at the CHU de Québec-Université Laval. Databases were searched for all cases treated between April 1997 and December 2010. Survival was retrieved from the Province of Quebec Ministry of Health. Follow-up was censored on December 31, 2011. Overall survival (OS) was compared to patients with invasive ductal carcinoma (ICD) matched for age, tumor size, lymph node involvement, year of diagnosis, ER, PgR, and HER2, histological grade, lymphovascular invasion, and chemotherapy.


The frequency of TC was 2.9% (n = 223/7563). Tumors size was 7.4 ± 8.8 mm, without lymphovascular invasion (95.1%), ER-positive (98.2%), PgR-positive (69.5%), and HER2-negative (100%). Patients were followed up for 7.1 ± 2.7 years. The actuarial 13-year OS was 89.0% for TC, compared to 85.8% for IDC (P = 0.13). For TC, the 13-year OS was 95.8% in NO patients compared to 90.0% for N1-3 (P = 0.01).


Despite the general popular belief that patients with TC fare better than patients with IDC, the 13-year OS of TC was similar to that of grade I IDC.

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