Breast malignant, males, children
Carcinoma subtypes
Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma and columnar cell mucinous carcinoma

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

Revised: 29 December 2016, last major update September 2012

Copyright: (c) 2001-2016,, Inc.

PubMed search: mucinous cystadenocarcinoma breast and columnar cell mucinous [title] carcinoma breast

Cite this page: Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma and columnar cell mucinous carcinoma. website. Accessed April 25th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Very rare as primary breast tumor (< 50 cases reported)
  • Carcinoma composed of tall columnar cells with basal, bland nuclei and abundant intracytoplasmic and extracytoplasmic mucin (as opposed to mucinous / colloid carcinoma with only extracellular mucin, and signet ring cell carcinoma with only intracellular mucin)
  • Either grossly cystic (mucinous cystadenocarcinoma) or solid (columnar cell mucinous carcinoma)
  • Resembles similar tumors of ovary, pancreas and appendix (Am J Surg Pathol 1998;22:698)
  • Mean age 58 - 68 years, range 49 - 96 years
Case reports
Gross description
  • Multicystic, up to 19 cm
  • Resembles ovarian and pancreatic cystadenocarcinoma, cystic hypersecretory carcinoma of breast
Gross images

Images hosted on other servers:

Ovary - multicystic tumor

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Cystic spaces lined by bland, tall columnar cells with abundant intracytoplasmic mucin
  • Tumor cells exhibit stratification, tufting and papillary formation
  • Variable cytologic atypia
  • Gradual loss of intracytoplasmic mucin and transformation to eosinophilic squamoid cells that are focally invasive
  • Columnar cell variant has round and convoluted glands in loose aggregates, lined by tall columnar mucinous epithelium with basal bland nuclei
  • Demonstrates both intracellular and extracellular mucin
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of breast with estrogen receptor expression

Breast - various images

Retroperitoneal tumor

Positive stains
Negative stains
Differential diagnosis