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Primary tuberculosis of the breast is still a relatively uncommon pathologic lesion, in spite of the fact that it was first described by Sir Astley Cooper in 1829 in a paper entitled "Scrofulous Swellings of the Breast." A short time later Velpeau mentioned tuberculosis as occurring in the mammary gland, only to be flatly contradicted by Virchow, who wrote in his famous "Treatise on Tumors" that tuberculosis never occurred in the breast. At the close of the nineteenth century, Durbar first demonstrated the tubercle bacillus in breast tissue. In 1902, Bindo de Vecchi was able to find seventy-seven cases reported in the literature and added one of his own. Four years later, Braendle reported eleven additional cases from the Tübingen clinic. In 1913, Powers of Denver reported four cases, bringing the total reported to ninety-three. Da Costa, in the ninth edition of "Modern Surgery," stated that, of the hundred cases
Wilson GE. TUBERCULOSIS OF THE BREAST. JAMA. 1934;102(2):128-129. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.62750020003009c