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WHO Classification of Tumours
Medullary carcinoma, NOS


Medullary carcinoma (MC) of the breast is a malignant epithelial tumour characterized by a syncytial growth pattern. The poorly differentiated neoplastic cells are arranged in large sheets and contain abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm and large, vesicular nuclei with prominent nucleoli. Mitoses are numerous. There is a prominent intraepithelial infiltrate of lymphocytes. Glandular/tubular structures are absent. The stroma is scant. The tumours are well circumscribed and have a median diameter from 2 to 2.9 cm. Foci of necrosis and haemorrhage are frequent.
MC typically lacks estrogen receptor expression.
The mean age of patients ranges from 45 to 52 years. The prognosis for typical medullary carcinoma is very favourable, with a 10-year disease-free survival of >90%. Distant metastases are rare

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Rapin V, Contesso G, Mouriesse H, Bertin F, Lacombe MJ, Piekarski JD, Travagli JP, Gadenne C, Friedman S (1988)
Medullary breast carcinoma. A reevaluation of 95 cases of breast cancer with inflammatory stroma.
Cancer 61: 2503-10

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Pedersen L, Zedeler K, Holck S, Schiodt T, Mouridsen HT (1995)
Medullary carcinoma of the breast. Prevalence and prognostic importance of classical risk factors in breast cancer.
Eur J Cancer 31A: 2289-95

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Tavassoli FA, Devilee P (Eds.)
World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of the Breast and Female Genital Organs.
3rd Edition
IARC Press: Lyon 2003