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Metastatic Melanoma in the Breast Masquerading as Fibroadenoma

Peter R. Jochimsen, MD; Robert C. Brown, MD
JAMA. 1976;236(24):2779-2780. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270250047028.
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OCCASIONALLY the radiologic appearance of a common benign lesion is indistinguishable from a metastatic tumor within the same organ. A case in point is malignant melanoma, metastatic to the breast, which may be identical in appearance to a benign fibroadenoma of the breast. The two following cases demonstrate the impossibility of differentiating these lesions using only physical examination and xerographic confirmation.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.—  A 27-year-old woman went to her local physician complaining of a tender lump in the right axilla. After examination, which showed only an axillary mass and two discrete, freely movable "adenomas of the breast," she was referred to a surgeon who felt she probably had a lymphoma. The patient underwent lymph node biopsy of the solitary axillary lymph node, which measured 2×2 cm. The pathologic diagnosis was anaplastic adenocarcinoma, metastatic to the axillary node. The patient was referred to University of Iowa Hospitals and


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