Case Report
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Oncol. Jul 24, 2019; 10(7): 269-278
Published online Jul 24, 2019. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v10.i7.269
Breast metastasis from primary lung adenocarcinoma in a young woman: A case report and literature review
Diego Enrico, Silvia Saucedo, Inés Bravo
Diego Enrico, Department of Clinical Oncology, Eva Perón General Hospital, 3200 Balbín Avenue, San Martín 1650, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Silvia Saucedo, Inés Bravo, Department of Pathology, Eva Perón General Hospital, 3200 Balbín Avenue, San Martín 1650, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Author contributions: Enrico D performed study design, review, writing, and analysis and interpretation of data, figures, tables, and statistics; Saucedo S and Bravo I contributed to cytological, histopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular analyses.
Informed consent statement: The patient provided informed written consent prior to the case review.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors reported no proprietary or commercial interest in any product mentioned or discussed in this article.
CARE Checklist (2016) statement: The authors have read the CARE Checklist (2016), and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the CARE Checklist (2016).
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Diego Enrico, MD, Department of Clinical Oncology, Eva Perón General Hospital, 3200 Balbín Avenue, San Martín 1650, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Telephone: +54-9-2323531263
Received: January 2, 2019
Peer-review started: January 4, 2019
First decision: March 15, 2019
Revised: May 25, 2019
Accepted: July 16, 2019
Article in press: July 16, 2019
Published online: July 24, 2019

Breast metastasis from extra mammary malignancies is rare. An incidence of 0.2%-1.3% has been reported in the literature, including that from different types of malignant neoplasms.


We present a case of a 29-year-old nonsmoking woman with breast metastasis from lung adenocarcinoma. Computed tomography revealed atelectasis in the right middle lobe of the lung and ipsilateral pleural effusion. Additionally, on physical examination, a small mass was noted in her right breast. The patient underwent bronchoscopy, needle thoracentesis, and breast biopsy. Following cytology, histology and immunohistochemistry, primary lung adenocarcinoma with metastasis to the breast was diagnosed. Only 63 cases, including our patient, have been reported in the literature since 2000, and this is the second in a woman under 30 years of age.


This atypical presentation may cause a significant diagnostic dilemma, but the contribution of immunohistochemistry is crucial to the accuracy of the final diagnosis.

Keywords: Lung cancer, Breast metastasis, Immunohistochemistry, Lymphatic spreading, Case report

Core tip: We present the second case of lung adenocarcinoma with metastasis to the breast in a patient under 30 years of age. This is a rare entity in oncology and even more so in this age group. There have only been 63 reported cases of breast metastasis from lung adenocarcinoma over the last eighteen years. A clear correlation between the side of primary lung cancer and the side of breast metastasis can be identified. Due to the infrequency of this phenomenon, the diagnosis may cause a significant dilemma. Nevertheless, immunohistochemistry plays a key role in the final diagnosis.