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J Clin Pathol 58:69-71 doi:10.1136/jcp.2004.018291
  • Letter to the editor

Expression of prostate specific antigen in male breast cancer

  1. P J Carder,
  2. V Speirs,
  3. J Ramsdale,
  4. M R J Lansdown
  1. Department of Pathology, St James’s University Hospital, Beckett St, Leeds LS10 7TF, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P Carder
 Department of Pathology, St James’s University Hospital, Beckett St, Leeds LS10 7TF, UK; paulinecarderdoctors.org.uk
  • Accepted 17 May 2004

Abstract

Male breast cancer is uncommon, accounting for less than 1% of all breast cancers. Carcinoma metastatic to the male breast is also unusual, with metastatic prostatic carcinoma being among the most common primary sites from which such tumours derive. Metastatic prostatic cancer and primary breast cancer may be histologically indistinguishable without immunohistochemistry because both often infiltrate with a cribriform architecture. Distinguishing between primary and metastatic disease within the breast is important because the treatment options for each are radically different. Following a case in which metastatic prostatic disease was initially wrongly diagnosed as primary breast cancer, a small series of male breast cancers was examined for expression of prostate specific antigen (PSA) and prostatic acid phosphatase to assess the usefulness of these markers in making this distinction. Focal expression of PSA was found in one of 11 cases of male breast cancer. These results indicate that PSA should be used with caution in this context.

Footnotes