What is Breast Lymphoma or Lymphoma of the Breast?Breast lymphoma is a rare type of cancer that results from the uncontrolled division of lymphocytes (mature white blood cells) or lymphoblast (immature white blood cells) in the breast. There are two types of breast lymphoma, primary breast lymphoma, and secondary breast lymphoma.
What are Lymphocytes or White Blood Cells?Neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, T cells, and B cells are types of white blood cells. Lymphocytes (white blood cells) help to fight infection and microorganisms that enter the body.
Disease EpidemiologyIt is rare cancer and accounts for approximately less than 1% of all breast cancers. It is usually developed in females between the ages of 60-70 years.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause. However, certain genetic mutations are thought to be responsible for the development of breast lymphoma.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Presence of a palpable (felt able) lump or mass in the upper and external quadrant of a breast or the equal diffuse thickening of the whole breast.
- The lump or mass usually painless
- Pain is present in only 12% of cases of primary breast lymphoma
- Swelling or inflammation of the breast is present in only 11% of cases of primary breast lymphoma25% of cases of primary breast lymphoma associated with swelling or inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpit (the presence of a lump or nodule in the armpit).
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to diagnose breast lymphoma, its size, and spread in the body.
- Mammography ( X-Ray breast)
- CT-scan, MRI, and PET scan to see the size, site, and extent of the tumor.
- Skin biopsy
- FNA( Fine needle aspiration) or core needle biopsy; are diagnostic procedures in which a sample of cells from a mass or lump is taken using a fine needle, which is then examined under a microscope.
- Histopathological examination