Breast implant capsule–associated squamous cell carcinoma: a report of 2 cases

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Abstract

The use of prosthetic implants for breast augmentation has become commonplace. Although implants do not increase the risk of conventional mammary carcinoma, they are rarely associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. We report 2 cases of breast implant capsule–associated squamous cell carcinoma with poor clinical outcomes. Both patients (56-year-old woman and 81-year-old woman) had long-standing implants (>25 years) and presented with acute unilateral breast enlargement. In both cases, squamous cell carcinoma arose in (focally dysplastic) squamous epithelium-lined breast implant capsules and widely invaded surrounding breast parenchyma or chest wall. Neither patient had evidence of a primary mammary carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma at any other anatomic site. Within 1 year, one patient developed extensive, treatment-refractory, locoregional soft tissue metastasis, and the second patient developed hepatic and soft tissue metastases and died of disease. There are 2 prior reported cases of implant-associated squamous cell carcinoma in the plastic surgery literature; one provides no pathologic staging or outcome information, and the second case was a capsule-confined squamous cell carcinoma. Together, all 4 cases share notable commonalities: the patients had long-standing breast implants and presented with acute unilateral breast pain and enlargement secondary to tumors arising on the posterior aspect of squamous epithelialized implant capsules. Because of both its rarity and its unusual clinical presentation, implant capsule–associated squamous cell carcinoma may be underrecognized. The aggressive behavior of the tumors in this series underscores the importance of excluding malignancy in patients with long-standing breast implants who present with acute unilateral breast pain and enlargement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Pathology
Volume67
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Keywords

  • Breast
  • Capsule
  • Implant
  • Metaplasia
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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