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TMJ pain as a presentation of metastatic breast cancer to the right mandibular condyle
  1. Victor Ken On Chang1,2 and
  2. Samuel Thambar1,2,3
  1. 1Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3School of Dentistry, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Victor Ken On Chang; victor.chang{at}


Cancer metastasis to the oral and maxillofacial region is uncommon, and metastasis to the mandibular condyle is considered rare. We present a case of a 56-year-old woman with a history of invasive ductal cell carcinoma of the right breast, 10 years in remission, presenting with a 6-month history of symptoms typical of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. Imaging revealed an osteolytic lesion of her right TMJ and subsequent open biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. Despite the rarity of metastatic cancer to the head and neck region, it is still important for clinicians from both medical and dental backgrounds to consider this differential diagnosis, particularly in patients with a history of hormonal positive subtype of breast cancer. Given that bony metastasis can manifest even 10 years after initial diagnosis, surveillance which includes examination of the head and neck region is important, and may include routine plain-film imaging surveillance with an orthopantomogram (OPG).

  • surgical oncology
  • head and neck cancer
  • breast cancer

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  • Contributors VKOC was part of clinical care of this patient in a hospital setting; undertook examination and compilation of patient information for the write up of this case report; completed literature review surrounding the topic of this case report; completed the initial drafting of the case report. ST provided general supervision for the completion of this case report; provided general feedback and editing for this case report. VKOC and ST collaborated for the final case report for submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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