• Vol. 33 No. 2, 270–274
  • 15 March 2004

Clinically ‘Benign’ Breast Lumps: Sarcoma in Hiding? – Case Reports and Literature Review

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ABSTRACT

Breast sarcoma is a very rare entity that accounts for less than 1% of all breast malignancies and less than 5% of all soft tissue tumours. Although uncommon, we highlight 2 recent cases encountered at our centre. The aim is to emphasise their apparent benign appearance on physical examination, so that readers will be alerted in a similar clinical setting. Medline was used to search for relevant articles concerning the pathology, treatment modalities and long-term prognosis of patients with this rare illness. We also reviewed soft tissue sarcomas found elsewhere. Articles relating to phyllodes tumour were excluded or only relevant sections used. We discuss the controversy regarding axillary lymph node clearance and the use of radiotherapy. Despite conflicting reports and lack of clinical studies, we believe that a simple mastectomy will suffice as adequate treatment, hence avoiding the undesirable side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.


Sarcoma of the breast was first described by Chelius in 1828. It is an unusual condition accounting for less than 1% of all breast malignancies and less than 5% of all soft tissue sarcomas (STS).

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