Author(s): S N Banerjee, N Ananthakrishnan, R B Mehta, S Parkash
Eighteen patients with tuberculosis of the breast are presented. The disease was prevalent in young female patients. The most common presentation was a lump, with or without sinuses, in the upper, outer quadrant of the breast, with matted axillary lymphadenopathy. One-third of the patients were lactating at the time of presentation. In 1 patient the disease was associated with carcinoma of the breast. The majority were treated by excision biopsy of the mass or a biopsy from a sinus for histological confirmation of the diagnosis, followed by standard antituberculous chemotherapy. Two patients required a sector mastectomy and 1 patient required a radical mastectomy for associated malignancy. This article stresses the need for a high index of suspicion in making the diagnosis (especially in developing countries), in establishing the diagnostic criteria, and in the overlapping of clinical presentation with malignancy of the breast as well as the possibility of a coexisting carcinoma. The role of surgery is mentioned both in diagnosis and for treatment of residual masses.