Breast cancer metastatic to the pituitary gland: a case report
1 Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, University of Rome "Sapienza," - Distretto ASL di Aprilia - Via Giustiniano snc, 04011, Aprilia, LT, Italy
2 Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Rome ‘Sapienza’, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161, Rome, Italy
3 Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Rome ‘Sapienza’, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161, Rome, Italy
4 Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, University of Rome "Sapienza", Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161, Rome, Italy
5 Department of Radiological, Pathological and Oncological Sciences Neurological Sciences, University of Rome ‘Sapienza’, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161, Rome, Italy
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2012, 10:137 doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-137Published: 9 July 2012
Metastases to the pituitary gland are rare events, and usually indicate widespread malignant disease. The lung and the breast are the most common sites of primary tumors that metastasize to the pituitary gland.
Metastases are more frequent in older patients and the most common symptoms at presentation are diabetes insipidus and visual alterations.
72-year-old white woman was treated for a breast carcinoma with right superoexternal quadrantectomy, radiotherapy, and hormone therapy. Twelve years later, the patient presented with bone pain, bilateral progressive visual decline, and onset of hypopituitarism. A diagnosis of secondary bone involvement and pituitary metastasis was made.
This was an unusual disease course, and stresses the importance of intensive follow-up in patients with breast cancer even many years after the initial diagnosis This case emphasizes that diagnosis can be difficultand controversial when relapse occurs at uncommon sites.