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August 14, 1967

Sarcomas of the Breast

JAMA. 1967;201(7):531-532. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130070051015

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The term, sarcoma of the breast, without any further qualifications can be misleading because it has been applied to a miscellaneous spectrum of lesions which vary not only in their histologic characteristics but also in clinical behavior.

For instance, if in a survey of "sarcoma" of the breast, one should include all cases diagnosed as cystosarcoma phyllodes he would find that (1) the overall incidence of mammary sarcomas becomes quite high, and (2) their overall clinical malignancy is conversely quite low, since the majority of lesions labeled with that term behave as local, relatively harmless conditions.

To give another example, in the older age group some relatively slow-growing carcinomas of the breast may exhibit areas of spindle cell, cartilagenous, or osseous metaplasia. To classify these tumors as fibrosarcoma or osteogenic or chondrosarcoma leads only to confusion and consequently to improper treatment since they behave not as sarcomas, but as low-grade