Advanced metastatic breast cancer in pregnancy: the imperative of physical breast examination in pregnancy

Vol. 58 No. 2, 2017


Anca Angela Simionescu, Claudia Valentina Georgescu, Mirela-Corina Ghilusi, Sabrina Ioana Stoica, Mircea Dragos Median

Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer diagnosed among women; its association with pregnancy is not encountered. As childbearing age is increasing, the diagnosis of breast cancer associated pregnancy tends to be more often than years ago. Here we report a case of a 37-year-old patient, gravida 7, para 7, diagnosed at 30 weeks gestation with metastatic breast cancer. The patient presented to hospital due to an altered performance status. Obstetrical evaluation was within normal range. A metastatic infiltrating breast cancer poorly differentiated (G3) with satellite skin lesions (T4b), ipsilateral axillary and supraclavicular lymph nodes (N3), lung metastasis bilateral with pleural effusion and hepatic metastasis (M1), were diagnosed. The tumor was positive for estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status and negative for human epidermal receptor protein-2 (HER-2)/neu immunostaining. Due to a significant worsening of the patient s dyspnea, a Caesarean section was performed under spinal anesthesia, at 30 + 2 days; and a newborn weighing 1700 g was delivered without malformations. The unsuccessful management of the cancer was inevitable and the patient died two weeks later. Despite her hospitalizations for six prior deliveries (last birth was one year ago), the presence of a palpable tumor was never observed. We aim to highlight the importance of the clinical examination at any given point in pregnancy in order to detect, investigate and treat any suspect tumor of the breast.

Corresponding author: Anca Angela Simionescu, Lecturer, MD, PhD; e-mail:

Download PDF
Download cover
Download contents

Journal archive