INTRODUCTION: In this study we evaluated mammographic, histological and immunohistochemical findings for microcalcification-associated breast cancer with regards to breast-conserving therapy, recurrence and survival rate.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed 99 consecutive, non-palpable and microcalcification-associated breast cancers (94 women) that were treated surgically between January 2002 and December 2003 at a national academic breast cancer center. Calcifications were classified according to the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS). Descriptors, surgical outcome and histological findings were assessed. Recurrences and survival rates were evaluated based on medical records, standardized patient questionnaires and/or contacting the physician.
RESULTS: 42 of the 99 lesions (42.4%) were invasive carcinomas, 57 (57.6%) were pure ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). 6 out of 99 (6.1%) lesions were triple negative, and 29 (29.3%) were HER2/neu positive. Successful first excision rate was 76/99 lesions (76.8%). Breast conservation was achieved in 73.7% (73/99). 10 women showed local recurrences without negatively impacting survival. The recurrences included round/punctate, amorphous, fine pleomorphic, and fine linear or fine-linear branching descriptors. The breast cancer-specific long-term survival rate was 91/94 (96.8%) for a mean follow-up of 81.4 months. The 3 patients who died due to breast carcinoma showed fine pleomorphic calcifications, and had nodal-positive invasive carcinoma at diagnosis.
CONCLUSION: Microcalcification-associated breast cancers are frequently treated with breast-conserving therapy. Continuous clinical and mammographic follow-up is recommended for all descriptors.