Breast malignant, males, children
Carcinoma subtypes
Intracystic (encysted) papillary carcinoma

Author: Monika Roychowdhury, M.D.(see Authors page)

Revised: 28 December 2016, last major update August 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed search: Intracystic papillary carcinoma [title] breast

Cite this page: Intracystic (encysted) papillary carcinoma. website. Accessed October 24th, 2018.
  • Also called encapsulated papillary carcinoma, intracystic papillary ductal carcinoma in situ
  • Rare; usually seen in elderly women
  • 0.5% - 1% of all breast cancers
  • May be associated with conventional DCIS or invasive carcinoma
Clinical features
  • Asymptomatic or presents as breast mass or nipple discharge
  • Benign appearance on imaging; on ultrasonography, pure cyst, mixed image or solid mass
  • Can be divided into pure form and those associated with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or invasive carcinoma
  • Considered noninvasive or minimally invasive, because there is no infiltrating growth pattern and metastases are rare
  • Traditionally considered to lack a myoepithelial layer (Am J Clin Pathol 2005;123:36), but one study found expression of type IV collagen (Am J Clin Pathol 2009;131:228)
  • More difficult to diagnose preoperatively than other breast tumors (Surg Today 2009;39:5)
  • Pseudoinvasion may be due to prior core biopsy causing epithelial displacement (J Clin Pathol 2002;55:780)
Case reports
Gross description
  • Mural nodule within a large cystic space; may be encapsulated
Gross images
Images hosted on other servers:

Intracystic hemorrhagic tumor with invasion

Microscopic (histologic) images
Images hosted on other servers:

Papillary tumors

Encapsulated tumor with hemorrhage

Papillary and solid pattern of atypical cells

Core biopsy with luminal calcifications

CK 5 / 6 negative

Pseudoinvasion due to epithelial displacement post biopsy

Virtual slides
Images hosted on other servers:

Intracystic papillary carcinoma

Positive stains
Negative stains
  • CK 5 / 6, myoepithelial markers except for type IV collagen