J Clin Pathol 65:771-785 doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2012-200733
  • Review

Current issues in diagnostic breast pathology

Editor's Choice
  1. National Coordinating Committee for Breast Pathology Research Subgroup, On behalf of members of the National Coordinating Committee for Breast Pathology
  1. 1Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Academic Unit of Pathology, Leeds University, Leeds, UK
  3. 3Academic Oncology/Breast Pathology, King's College London, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Pathology, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
  5. 5Molecular Medical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ian O Ellis, Molecular Medical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Department of Histopathology, Nottingham City Hospital, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG7 1DD, UK; ian.ellis{at}
  1. Contributors These are working documents aimed to established early guidance on emerging areas of diagnostic breast pathology.

  • Accepted 1 February 2012
  • Published Online First 19 July 2012


On behalf of the NHS Breast Screening Programme Pathology Coordinating Group we present recommendations for terminology and diagnostic criteria for a number of key areas of practice in breast pathology where terminology can be confusing and where accurate communication will ensure appropriate clinical management. These recommendations cover columnar cell lesions and the spectrum of changes that can be seen in these epithelial proliferations, lobular neoplasia, micrometastases and isolated tumour cells in axillary lymph nodes, the use of basal/myoepithelial markers in diagnostic practice and oestrogen receptor testing in ductal carcinoma in situ.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.