Breast carcinoma en cuirasse as a natural progression of untreated breast cancer

Lily Tung, Eric C. Stone, Meenakshi Bhasin, Sindu Sheth, Maria Nelson, Pulin A. Sheth, Debu Tripathy, Julie E. Lang


Objective: Breast carcinoma en cuirasse is an aggressive manifestation of breast cancer, and is most often seen as a local recurrence. It is the most common primary malignancy to metastasize to the skin and palliative care is often the only option.
Methods: Retrospective review of the patient’s chart was done.
Results: Our patient is a 65 year old female with no significant past medical or surgical history, who presented with a 2 year history of an enlarging left breast mass and left axillary mass, to the point where she had pain with breathing and restriction of chest wall expansion. Work-up of her breast and axillary masses showed carcinoma en cuirasse. Given the advanced stage of her disease, the patient was offered palliative care, which she declined.
Conclusions: Breast carcinoma en cuirasse is a rare manifestation of cutaneous metastases from breast cancer. While it is usually seen as a local recurrence, it can also be seen, as in our patient’s case, as a natural progression of breast cancer that is difficult to treat. Our patient’s case highlights the importance of early detection and treatment of breast cancer, as well as the surveillance for local recurrence.

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Case Studies in Surgery  ISSN 2377-7311(Print)  ISSN 2377-732X(Online)

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