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ABSTRACT: To retrospectively evaluate the mammographic imaging findings and pathologic changes of the so-called "triple-negative" breast cancer (ER(-)/PR(-)/HER-2(-) breast cancer), and to compare them with the ER(+)/PR(+)/HER-2(-) and ER(-)/PR(-)/HER-2(+) breast cancer patients.
Five hundred cases of breast cancer treated in Cancer Institute and Hospital of Tianjin University from January to June of 2010 were included in this study. There were 112 cases of triple-negative breast cancer, 310 cases of ER(+)/PR(+)/HER-2(-) breast cancer, and 78 cases of ER(-)/PR(-)/HER-2(+) breast cancer. Their pathological and mammographic data were reviewed and analyzed. The pathological and mammographic features of the three groups were compared.
Compared with the ER(+)/PR(+)/HER-2(-) breast cancer group, the triple-negative group had a higher histological grade (P < 0.001). Compared with the ER(+)/PR(+)/HER-2(-) and ER(-)/PR(-)/HER-2(+) groups, the triple-negative group was more likely to have a tumor mass (simple mass accounted for 58.0%, and tumor mass with calcification accounted for 19.6%). Moreover, compared with the ER(+)/PR(+)/HER-2(-) group (47.1% vs. 9.8%, P = 0.032)and the ER(-)/PR(-)/HER-2(+) group (47.1% vs. 0, P = 0.028), the tumor mass of triple-negative cancer was more likely to have a smooth margin. Triple-negative breast cancer seldom represented as calcification (simple calcification only accounted for 13.4%, and a mass with calcification accounted for 19.6%), and most of them were benign calcification (70.3%), significantly higher than that in the ER(+)/PR(+)/HER-2(-) group (23.1%, P = 0.002) and ER(-)/PR(-)/HER-2(+) group (10.2%, P < 0.001).
Different types of breast cancer have different biological characteristics and mammographic features. Analysis of the mammographic features may help us to predict the type of breast cancer and its prognosis, and to select an optimal treatment plan for patients with different types of breast cancer.
Zhonghua zhong liu za zhi [Chinese journal of oncology] 04/2012; 34(4):291-5. DOI:10.3760/cma.j.issn.0253-3766.2012.04.012