Breast Pathology

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anna Sapino, Janina Kulka

Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma of the Breast

  • Maria P. FoschiniEmail author
  • Luca Morandi
Reference work entry


Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) of the breast is a tumor composed of mucous-secreting intermediate and epidermoid cells. It can present a great variety of architectural patterns, ranging from cystic to solid. Its features are similar to MEC arising in the major and minor salivary glands (Foschini et al. 2017; Foschini and Krausz 2010).

Clinical Features

  • Incidence

    Breast MEC is an extremely rare type of tumor. Its incidence is not exactly known, as only single case or small series are reported (Basburg 2011; Foschini 2017).

  • Age

    MEC affects mainly adult patients, aged from 29 to 80 years.

  • Sex

    At present breast MEC has been described in female patients only.

  • Site

    MEC can arise in all breast quadrants. When it affects the retro-areolar region, it can present with nipple discharge.

  • Treatment

    Radical surgical resection is the treatment of choice. Axillary lymph node dissection and chemotherapy have been added in high-grade MEC.

  • Outcome

    Outcome mainly depends on MEC grading. MEC,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor SciencesUniversity of Bologna, Unit of Anatomic Pathology at Bellaria HospitalBolognaItaly