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Dermatology Online Journal

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Noninflammatory presentation of cutaneous breast cancer: a retrospective case series at a single academic institution with review of the literature


Breast cancer with skin involvement is an uncommon clinical presentation of this malignancy. Breast cancer overall has a relatively high mortality rate and wide variety of presentations, making skin involvement by breast cancer a necessary consideration in the differential diagnosis for many types of breast lesions. A retrospective review of our own small academic dermatology outpatient clinic, between August 2006 and January 2020, found four cases of noninflammatory breast cancer with skin involvement diagnosed through biopsy by our dermatologists. This review was approved by the local Institutional Review Board. Of the four patients identified, three were female and one was male. One patient had prior history of invasive ductal carcinoma in remission before recurrence was diagnosed. Another patient had a history of melanoma in situ before diagnosis with breast cancer. Patients were treated with various combinations of surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy. These four cases are presented here in detail, which emphasize the role of the dermatologist in recognizing various cutaneous manifestations of noninflammatory breast cancer in order to make a timely diagnosis.

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