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Non-operative breast pathology: apocrine lesions
  1. C A Wells,
  2. G A El-Ayat
  1. St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, UK
  1. Dr C A Wells, 4th Floor, Pathology Block, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE, UK; c.a.wells{at}qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

Apocrine metaplasia is a very common finding in the female breast after the age of 25. It is so common that many people regard it as a normal component of the breast. This, however, is only really the case in apocrine sweat glands of the axilla and in the peri-areolar apocrine glands. The apocrine cell does, however, contribute to a number of different breast lesions, some of which are very taxing diagnostically; apocrine variants of both in-situ and invasive cancer are encountered. This review considers the common apocrine metaplastic lesions seen in fibrocystic change as well as apocrine adenoma, apocrine change within sclerosing adenosis, atypical apocrine lesions and apocrine malignancies.

  • apocrine
  • metaplasia
  • breast
  • atypical
  • adenosis
  • apocrine carcinoma

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Abbreviations:
    ADH
    atypical ductal hyperplasia
    APM
    apocrine metaplasia
    AR
    androgen receptor
    DCIS
    ductal carcinoma in-situ
    ER
    oestrogen receptor
    GCDFP
    gross cystic disease fluid protein
    NST
    no special type
    PAC
    papillary apocrine change
    PR
    progesterone receptor

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