Carcinogenesis and Natural History of Breast Cancer

  • José Cláudio Casali da Rocha


The clinical presentation of breast cancer can range from microinvasive to highly metastatic. The vast majority of breast cancers belong to the class of carcinomas originating from the epithelium of the lobules and ducts of the gland, more specifically luminal cells (potentially secreting milk). Basal-like subtype breast adenocarcinomas – often negative for estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone (PR) and HER2 receptor expression – have a genetic signature similar to myoepithelial cells that line tubules and lobules and are typical of tumors with BRCA1 deficiency [1, 7]. Invasive carcinoma is often associated with outbreaks of carcinoma in situ and with atypical hyperplastic lesions, suggesting that these premalignant lesions may represent precursor lesions of cancer. The less branched and more cellularized nulliparous type I lobes are more amenable to malignant transformation compared to the more differentiated multiparous type III lobe.


Natural history Carcinogenesis Invasive carcinoma Molecular subtypes Genomics 

Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Casali-da-Rocha JC, Cocramo S, Ramirez R. Aspectos moleculares das neoplasias: câncer de mama. Em: Oncologia Molecular. Editora Atheneu. In: 2ª Edição; 2010.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hanahan D, Weinberg RA. Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. Cell. 2011;144(5):646–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kennecke H, Yerushalmi R, Woods R, Cheang MCU, Voduc D, Speers CH, Nielsen TO, Gelmon K. Metastatic behavior of breast cancer subtypes. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(20):3271–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kotsopoulos J, Lubinski J, Salmena L, Lynch HT, Kim-Sing C, Foulkes WD, Ghadirian P, Neuhausen SL, Demsky R, Tung N, Ainsworth P, Senter L, Eisen A, Eng C, Singer C, Ginsburg O, Blum J, Huzarski T, Poll A, Sun P, Narod SA. Breastfeeding and the risk of breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Breast Cancer Res. 2012;14(2):R42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Krell J, Frampton AE, Jacob J, Castellano L, Stebbing J. miRNAs in breast cancer: ready for real time? Pharmacogenomics. 2012;13(6):709–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lee SJ, Park S, Ahn HK, Yi JH, Cho EY, Sun JM, Lee JE, Nam SJ, Yang J, Park YH, Ahn JS, Im Y. Implications of bone-only metastases in breast cancer: favorable preference with excellent outcomes of hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Cancer Res Treat. 2011;43(2):89–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rakha EA, Reis-Filho e IO Ellis JS. Basal-like breast cancer: a critical review. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26(15):2568–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sapkota Y, Ghosh S, Lai R, Coe BP, Cass CE, Yasui Y, Mackey JR, Damaraju S. Germline DNA Copy Number Aberrations Identified as Potential Prognostic Factors for Breast Cancer Recurrence. PlosOne. 2013;8(1):e53850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Cláudio Casali da Rocha
    • 1
  1. 1.Genetics, Catholic UniversityCuritibaBrazil

Personalised recommendations