The Role of Sonography in Patients with Breast Cancer Presenting as an Axillary Mass

Sun Young Park, Eun Kyung Kim, Ki Keun Oh, Kyong Sik Lee, Byeong Woo Park

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare sonography and mammography in terms of their diagnostic value in breast cancer cases which initially presented as an axillary mass without a palpable mass or other clinical symptoms. Materials and Methods: Seven patients with enlarged axillary lymph nodes who first presented with no evidence of palpable breast lesions and who underwent both mammography and sonography were enrolled in this study. In six of the seven, the presence of metastatic adenocarcinoma was confirmed preoperatively by axillary needle aspiration biopsy; in four, subsequent sonographically-guided breast core biopsy performed after careful examination of the primary site indicated that primary breast cancer was present. In each case, the radiologic findings were evaluated by both breast sonography and mammography. Results: Breast lesions were detected mammographically in four of seven cases (57%); in three of the four, the lesion presented as a mass, and in one as microcalcification. In three of these four detected cases, fatty or scattered fibroglandular breast parenchyma was present; in one, the parenchyma was dense. In the three cases in which lesions were not detected, mammography revealed the presence of heterogeneously dense parenchyma. Breast sonography showed that lesions were present in six of seven cases (86%); in the remaining patient, malignant microcalcification was detected at mammography. Final pathologic examination indicated that all breast lesions except one, which was a ductal carcinoma in situ, with microinvasion, were infiltrating ductal carcinomas whose size ranged from microscopic to greater than 3 cm. At the time of this study, all seven patients were alive and well, having been disease free for up to 61 months after surgery. Conclusion: In women with a palpable axillary mass confirmed as metastatic adenocarcinoma, breast sonography may be a valuable adjunct to mammography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-193
Number of pages5
JournalKorean journal of radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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