• breast;
  • carcinoma;
  • invasive cribriform carcinoma;
  • prognosis

A histological review of 1003 invasive breast carcinomas identified 51 tumours in which the invasive component showed a predominantly cribriform pattern. These separated into two groups; 35 which showed exclusively cribriform or cribriform with a limited extent of tubular invasive elements only, designated ‘classical’ invasive cribriform carcinoma and 16 which also contained areas of less well differentiated invasive carcinoma, designated ‘mixed’ invasive cribriform carcinoma. At follow-up, 10 to 21 years after diagnosis, none of the 35 patients with classical invasive cribriform carcinoma had died as a result of this initial carcinoma and 30 remained alive. Of the 16 remaining patients, whose tumours showed areas of less well differentiated carcinoma, only six remained alive. However, the adjusted 10 year survival rate of these patients in this mixed group was significantly better than that of invasive carcinoma in Edinburgh. Invasive cribriform carcinoma in its classical form, is a histological subgroup of invasive carcinoma with the same excellent prognosis as that of invasive tubular carcinoma.