Autopsy and Case Reports
Autopsy and Case Reports
Article / Clinical Case Report

Incidental diagnosis of breast cancer in the pursuit of the treatment of intestinal obstruction

Isabel Armas; Mariana Brandão; Inês Guerreiro; Inês Guerreiro; João Lobo; Carla Freitas; João Pinto-de-Sousa; Joaquim Abreu de Sousa

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Intestinal lipomatosis is rare and often asymptomatic but can present with intestinal obstruction. Occasionally, metastatic breast cancer is identified in the ovary before a breast primary is discovered. We report the case of a 50-year-old woman diagnosed with synchronous intestinal obstruction due to lipomatosis, and incidental ovarian metastases from breast cancer. The patient presented with a 12-day history of nausea, diffuse abdominal pain, and constipation. An abdominal x-ray showed air-fluid levels, and computed tomography documented small bowel distention. An explorative laparotomy was performed, which revealed small bowel distention, an obstructive lesion of the ileocecal valve, three terminal ileum lesions, ascites, and heterogeneous ovaries. Right ileocolic resection and left oophorectomy were performed. The pathological diagnosis revealed lipomatous submucosal lesion of the ileocecal valve and ileum, and 17 lymph nodes, which were all negative for malignant cells. The oophorectomy revealed ovarian metastasis from breast carcinoma. Ascitic fluid was positive for malignant cells. Mammography and breast/axillary ultrasonography showed a solid nodule of the left breast, ductal carcinoma, and multiple enlarged left axillary lymph nodes, which were positive for neoplastic cells. Immunohistochemical evaluation showed hormonal receptor positivity and C-erb2 negativity. Breast magnetic resonance imaging showed a 14 mm left nodule and a positron emission tomography scan revealed 18F-FDG uptake in the left breast, left axillary lymph nodes, right ovary, and peritoneum. The tumor was staged as stage IV ductal breast carcinoma, cT1N1M1, Grade 2, Luminal B-like. The multidisciplinary oncological meeting proposed chemotherapy, and a re-staging breast MRI after chemotherapy, which showed a complete response. The patient started treatment with letrozole and remains disease-free 22 months after finishing chemotherapy.


Lipomatosis, Intestinal Obstruction, Breast Neoplasms, Neoplasm Metastasis, Ovary, Peritoneum


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