BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-221842
  • Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury

Parotid gland: an unusual site of breast cancer metastasis

  1. Soni Soumian3
  1. 1Medical School, Keele University, Keele, UK
  2. 2Department of Oncology, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  3. 3Cancer Centre Plastic Surgery, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  1. Correspondence to Thomas Rawet, v5w23{at}
  • Accepted 20 November 2017
  • Published 5 December 2017


Parotid gland metastases from breast cancer are an extremely rare and unusual event with a limited number of cases recorded in the literature. A 71-year-old woman with a history of ductal adenocarcinoma of the left breast presented to the maxillofacial clinic with an asymptomatic swelling of the left parotid gland. The presentation occurred 21 years after she underwent treatment for recurrent breast cancer. Investigations led to the diagnosis of a breast cancer metastasis which was oestrogen receptor and progesterone receptor positive and negative. Positron emission tomography scan confirmed this as a solitary metastasis. She was treated with aromatase inhibitors and a stable clinical response was observed on follow-up. Surgical intervention was avoided with its potential complications such as facial nerve injury. Metastasis from breast cancer to the parotid gland is a very rare phenomenon. However, in a patient with previous breast cancer, it should be considered as a possible differential diagnosis.


  • Contributors All authors involved in the conception of this case report, its design and the acquisition of patient information and images; drafting of the article, along with final approval of the version to be published. AJ was involved in the care of the patient from an oncology perspective.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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