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Reminder of important clinical lesson
Recurrent granulomatous mastitis mimicking inflammatory breast cancer
  1. Ahmet Bahadir Ergin1,
  2. Massimo Cristofanilli2,
  3. Hamed Daw3,
  4. Gulgun Tahan4,
  5. Yun Gong5
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Fairview Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  2. 2Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Department of Regional Oncology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  4. 4Department of Human Resources, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  5. 5Department of Pathology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Ahmet Bahadir Ergin, bahadirergin{at}


Granulomatous mastitis (GM) is an uncommon benign breast lesion. Diagnosis is a matter of exclusion from other inflammatory, infectious and granulomatous aetiologies. Here, we presented an atypical GM case, which had clinical and radiologic features overlapping with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). The disease had multiple recurrences. The patient is a 40-year-old Caucasian woman with a sudden onset of left breast swelling accompanied by diffuse skin redness, especially of the subareolar region and malodorous yellow nipple discharge from the left nipple. The disease progressed on antibiotic treatment and recurred after local resection. A similar lesion developed even after bilateral mastectomy. GM may show clinical/radiologic features suggestive of IBC. Multiple recurrences can be occasionally encountered. GM after recurrence could be much more alarming clinically. Pathology confirmation is the key for accurate diagnosis and a multidisciplinary approach is important to rule out IBC.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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