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A 47-year-old member asked:

I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast carcinoma and the path report indicates poorly differeriated invasive. meaning?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
General Surgery 39 years experience
Cell type: Pathologists describe what they see from a biopsy specimen. Inflammatory breast cancer can be an aggressive form of breast cancer. The biopsy describing invasive & poorly differentiated cells indicates likely an aggressive form of breast cancer. Your oncologist would have much more information to answer your questions more fully.
Dr. Devon Webster
Medical Oncology 22 years experience
Aggressive: This means the cells look less "adult". As we develop, our cells take on functions (like making milk), and under the microscope they have an appearance that tells us what they do. So just by looking i can say "that is a breast cell that makes milk." cancer cells can get younger looking, so we can't tell by looking where they came from or what they do. That is a marker of a more aggressive cancer.
Dr. Benjamin Kim
General Surgery 43 years experience
Aggressive tumor: Inflammatory bc causes redness and swelling of the breast mimicking and often mistaken for infection initially. They block the lymphatics in the skin. Usually arising from the lining duct cells, they are usually "poorly differentiated"- loosing much of their semblance to more normal looking cells and behave badly. They need aggressive mulitmodality treatments.

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Last updated May 20, 2013
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