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July 23, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(4):187. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02450040037004

Tuberculosis of the mammary gland has heretofore been looked upon as a rare affection. The recent simultaneous reports of four cases of this disease in American medical journals, two by Ferguson1 and one by Freiberg2 in this Journal, indicate that the affection may not be as rare as ordinarily supposed. The most extensive of these recent articles upon this subject is that of Scudder.3 After making a careful search of the literature he found that there are but eighty instances of tuberculosis of the breast recorded, and twenty-three of these eighty cases lack positive evidence of being tuberculous.

The methods of infection may be enumerated as follows: In primary mammary tuberculosis the bacillus may find its way into the organ through the milk ducts, or through an open wound in the nipple, as in Demmes'4 case or in the skin. Secondary tuberculosis is the most common