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mammary mucinous carcinoma

Tuesday 3 July 2012

mucinous breast carcinoma; mucinous carcinoma of the breast

Definition: Mucinous carcinoma or mucin-producing carcinoma is a type of invasive ductal breast cancer. The distinguishing feature of mucinous carcinoma (sometimes called colloid cancer) is the production of mucus.

At the cellular level mucinous carcinoma appears as ‘islands’ of malignant cells within ‘lakes’ of mucus. Tumors for this cancer type can grow very large and are often softer to the touch.

Statistically, mucinous carcinoma accounts for approximately 3% of all breast cancers. It is rare in younger women and tends to effect women in their 60’s. For women 75 years or older, mucinous breast cancer accounts for approximately 7% of all tumors.

Mucinous mammary carcinoma (MC) is a tumor type with relatively favorable prognosis.


- Macroscopy

- Core biopsy of a breast mucinous carcinoma


- mammary mucinous micropapillary carcinoma



Digital cases

- JRC:5076 : Mucinous breast carcinoma, metastatic to lymph node.
- JRC:5077 : Mucinous breast carcinoma (Vs. mammary duct ectasia).
- JRC:5078 : Mucinous breast carcinoma.
- JRC:5080 : Mucinous breast carcinoma.
- JRC:5081 : Mucinous breast carcinoma.
- JRC:5082 : Mucinous breast carcinoma.

Precursor lesions

Mucinous ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a precursor to MC with distinctive features that link patterns of DCIS with aggressive mucinous mammary carcinoma phenotypes.

The 2 observed transitions between mucinous ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and MC suggest that pathogenesis of different types of mucinous mammary carcinoma is different correlating with less or more aggressive behavior of the latter.

Differential diagnosis

- mammary duct ectasia

See also

- mammary carcinomas


- Precursor lesions of mucinous carcinoma of the breast: analysis of 130 cases. Kryvenko ON, Chitale DA, Yoon J, Arias-Stella J 3rd, Meier FA, Lee MW. Am J Surg Pathol. 2013 Jul;37(7):1076-84. doi : 10.1097/PAS.0b013e31828de420 PMID: 23759933