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Growing concern following compression mammography
  1. Johannes Pieter van Netten1,
  2. Stephen Hoption Cann2,
  3. Ian Thornton1,
  4. Rory Finegan1
  1. 1Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stephen Hoption Cann, hoption.cann{at}


A patient without clinical symptoms had a mammogram in October 2008. The procedure caused intense persistent pain, swelling and development of a haematoma following mediolateral left breast compression. Three months later, a 9×11 cm mass developed within the same region. Core biopsies showed a necrotizing high-grade ductal carcinoma, with a high mitotic index. Owing to its extensive size, the patient began chemotherapy followed by trastuzumab and later radiotherapy to obtain clear margins for a subsequent mastectomy. The mastectomy in October 2009 revealed an inflammatory carcinoma, with 2 of 3 nodes infiltrated by the tumour. The stage IIIC tumour, oestrogen and progesterone receptor negative, was highly HER2 positive. A recurrence led to further chemotherapy in February 2011. In July 2011, another recurrence was removed from the mastectomy scar. She died of progressive disease in 2012. In this article, we discuss the potential influence of compression on the natural history of the tumour.

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