T4b breast masses: A retrospective review of 12 cases presenting to a Metropolitan Tertiary Care Center

Stephanie Downing, Ayorinde Akinrinlola, Suryanarayana M. Siram, Robert L. DeWitty, Henry Paul, Konrad Dawson, Wayne A.I. Frederick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Due to increased awareness of breast cancer resulting in early detection, there is a decreased incidence nationwide of late-stage breast cancer, including that which presents with skin involvement (T4b). Methods: A retrospective analysis of a 10-month period from August 2007 to May 2008 at Howard University Hospital (HUH), Washington, DC, revealed 12 patients diagnosed with T4b breast cancer and compared to similarly staged patients in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Finally, a logistic regression for the likelihood of T4b diagnosis was performed patients in the SEER database. Results: HUH patients with T4b tumors were more likely than SEER patients to present with predictors of poor clinical outcome, including high-grade histology (100% vs 59.4%, p = .04) and estrogen receptor- (75% vs 30.3%, p = .001) and progesterone receptor- negative (91.7% vs 43.9%, p = .001) status. Conversely, HUH patients were younger (57.8 y vs 66.3 y, p = .03) and had smaller tumors (11.1 cm vs 28.2 cm, p = .02) than SEER patients with similarly staged tumors. Older patients (OR, 2.36; 95% CI, 1.50-2.00; p < .001; 60-80 y), African American patients (OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.26-2.11; p < .001), and patients with high-grade (OR, 5.51; 95% CI, 3.88-6.52; p < .001) tumors were more likely to be diagnosed with T4b tumors, whereas patients who lived in an area with increased median household income (OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.99-0.99; p = .001) were less likely to be diagnosed with a T4b lesion. Conclusion: While much research has focused on the socio-economic causes for the development of T4b tumors, both patient and tumor biologic conditions cannot be eliminated as causative agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-761
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Breast cancer
  • Outcomes research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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