All Sample Questions

Breast Cancer 2

Breast cancer
histology

Question

Vignette:

A 25-year-old woman presents to her physician for her annual checkup. She is healthy and has no complaints. Her family history is significant for breast cancer in her mother and maternal grandmother. The physician recommends a mammogram, which reveals a tumor with invasive ductal carcinoma. The biopsy of the tumor shows cells with abundant granular eosinophilic cytoplasm. The cells are arranged in a single layer around small lumina. These cells are most likely derived from which of the following?

Choices

A. Myoepithelial cells

B. Ductal epithelial cells

C. Fibroblasts

D. Adipocytes

E. Macrophages

Answer

B. Ductal epithelial cells

Explanation

The question describes a woman with invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer. It typically originates from cells lining the ducts of the mammary gland, known as ductal epithelial cells. The histological finding of cells arranged in a single layer around the small lumina is consistent with this. Myoepithelial cells (choice A) form a second layer of cells in the ductal system and are typically lost in invasive ductal carcinoma. Fibroblasts (choice C) are responsible for the production of the extracellular matrix and are typically found in the stromal tissue, not within the ducts. Adipocytes (choice D) are fat cells, not typically involved in breast cancer. Macrophages (choice E) are immune cells that might be found infiltrating the tumor, but they would not form the main cell type in a ductal carcinoma. The presence of abundant granular eosinophilic cytoplasm suggests that the carcinoma cells are actively producing proteins, as would be expected from ductal epithelial cells.

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