Secretory Carcinoma

Secretory Carcinoma

Secretory carcinomas may invade as irregular nests of tumor cells image, as in this case, or be present as circumscribed masses. Hyalinized bands image or central areas of fibrosis are common.

The name “secretory” derives from the characteristic feature of distinct eosinophilic material in tumor lumens image and the bubbly cytoplasm image. The material is positive for PAS and Alcian blue.



  • Juvenile breast carcinoma (this name is discouraged as majority of cases occur in older patients)


  • Very rare type of breast cancer characterized by specific translocation and occurring over wide age range from children to adults



  • Incidence

    • Very rare type of invasive breast carcinoma (< 0.2% of breast carcinomas)

  • Age

    • Occurs over wide range: < 5 years to > 80 years (median: 25 years)


  • In young women and men, carcinoma is generally in subareolar location due to presence of breast tissue at this site

  • Not associated with pregnancy or lactation, although histologic appearance mimics lactating breast tissue


  • Majority of patients have been treated surgically with excision of breast and lymph nodes

  • Too few patients to determine benefit of chemotherapy and radiation

    • Rare patients with metastatic secretory carcinoma who received chemotherapy progressed during treatment


  • Majority of patients remain free of disease after surgical excision

    • About 30% of patients have axillary lymph node metastases

  • Local recurrences can occur in residual breast tissue or in chest wall many years after initial surgery

  • In rare cases, systemic metastases have resulted in death of patient

    • Only 5 cases with distant metastases have been reported


Mammographic Findings

  • May appear as circumscribed or irregular densities

    • Calcifications may be present

  • No specific imaging features


General Features

  • Gross tumors are firm and lobulated or circumscribed

    • No gross features that are specific for secretory carcinoma


Histologic Features

Jul 6, 2016 | Posted by in PATHOLOGY & LABORATORY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Secretory Carcinoma

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