PABC shares histology and some prognostic features with breast cancer occurring in other young women.
Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common histologic subtype, followed by invasive lobular carcinoma.
The majority of tumors are grade II or III, and lymphovascular invasion is common.
However, the molecular subtypes of PABC seem to differ from those of non-PABC.
Several case-control studies have demonstrated that the hormone receptor status in PABC is more likely to be negative when compared with that in breast cancer in age-matched cohorts.
In contrast, there are conflicting reports of the HER-2 receptor status for PABC.
In a case-control study published in 1993 by Elledge and colleagues, 58% of the tumors from pregnant patients were positive for HER-2 on immunohistochemistry, whereas only 16% of age-matched non-pregnant patients had HER-2-positive tumors.
However, in a more contemporary report from the MD Anderson Cancer Center series of pregnant women by Middleton and colleagues, 28% of PABC cases had positive membrane staining for HER-2, and there was no significant difference when compared with breast carcinoma in young nonpregnant women.
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