Invasive breast carcinoma of no special type and variants


Last author update: 1 August 2012
Last staff update: 17 March 2021

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PubMed search: sebaceous carcinoma breast

Monika Roychowdhury, M.D.
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Cite this page: Roychowdhury M. Sebaceous. website. Accessed July 6th, 2022.
Definition / general
  • Very rare primary breast carcinoma resembling skin adnexal tumor with sebaceous differentiation, but no evidence of cutaneous derivation (see J Med Case Rep 2008;2:276 for cutaneous tumor of breast)
Clinical features
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Well defined solid sheets or lobules of atypical epithelial cells, including large, pale or clear cells with coarsely vacuolated cytoplasm, containing Oil red O staining lipid and often scalloped nuclei
  • Often focal squamous morules
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Focal calcification and necrosis

Sebaceous carcinoma of the breast


Positive stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Empty appearing, non membrane bound vacuoles
Differential diagnosis
  • Apocrine carcinoma: > 90% of tumor cells have cytologic or immunohistochemical features of apocrine cells
  • Lipid rich carcinoma: usually not coarsely vacuolated, often squamous morules, usually HER2+, ER-, PR-
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