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Apocrine Carcinoma of Breast

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The term "apocrine carcinoma" is reserved for breast carcinomas in which majority of the tumor cells have apocrine morphology - consisting of abundant densely eosinophilic cytoplasm that may show granularity or vacuoles, enlarged nuclei and prominent nucleoli. When the diagnostic criteria are applied strictly and consistently, the frequency of apocrine carcinomas is about 1% of all breast carcinomas. There are no gross features specific for apocrine carcinoma. Invasive tumors are firm to hard with infiltrating borders. Rare cases have well-defined borders and a fleshy appearance (seen here) resembling medullary carcinoma of breast.

Most patients are post-menopausal and the average age at presentation is 5 to 10 years older than patients with non-apocrine ductal carcinomas. There are no major differences in the clinical or mammographic presentation between apocrine and non-apocrine ductal carcinomas.

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