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Undifferentiated Subtype of Non-keratinizing Carcinoma of the Nasopharynx Metastasizing to the Breast: A Case Report and Literature Review

Ali Koyuncuer


Nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs) have a particularly high risk for aggressive clinical behavior. Metastatic tumors or secondary malignant neoplasms to the breast are uncommon. Breast metastasis of NPCs is very rare. We report a case of NPC in a 17-year-old female patient presenting with a mass in her left breast. The tumor consisted of an inflammatory infiltrate rich in lymphocytic or plasmacytic cells and composed of carcinoma cells having large, vesicular, round to oval nuclei with single, centrally located, eosinophilic nucleolus with eosinophilic cytoplasm. The epithelial tumor cells were strongly positive for pancytokeratin and CK19 and negative for CK7, CK20, progesterone, and estrogen receptors. NPCs are predominantly seen in adults with an average age of 50 years at diagnosis, and they are slightly more common in men than in women. The etiology of NPCs is generally multifactorial, such as genetic predisposition, Epstein-Barr virus infection, and environmental factors. A review of the literature on NPC yielded eight cases of metastasis to the breast. Excessive radical surgery is not suitable for metastatic tumors in the breasts of these patients, but isolated success has been obtained with a combination of local surgery and radiation therapy.


Breast, carcinoma, metastasis, nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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