What Is the Bilateral Breast Cancer?


I was searching information about breast cancer online and saw the term bilateral breast cancer. What is the bilateral breast cancer?


Bilateral breast cancer (BBC) means cancer in both breasts. It is a rare clinical entity with 4-20% of occurrence in patients diagnosed with primary operable breast cancer.

Unilateral breast cancer usually have correspondent treatment guidelines. However, BBC don’t. Patients diagnosed with BBC require specific and individualized treatment plans, according to the index lesion’s tumor and treatment factors. What’s more, the diagnostic criteria, nomenclature, and management policies of BBC remains controversial. The occurrence is usually associated with family history, BRCA mutations, multicentricity, lobular invasive carcinoma, and radiation exposure.

There are two different types of BBC based on the time of its occurrence. If contralateral cancer is diagnosed within six months after the first breast cancer, it is called synchronous bilateral breast cancer. On the contrary, if contralateral cancer is diagnosed more than 6 months after the first breast cancer, then it is known as metachronous bilateral breast cancer. The median time intervals of synchronous and metachronous cancers between the first and the subsequent contralateral breast cancer diagnosis were 0 months and 34 months (range; 7–209 months) respectively.


Keywords: bilateral breast cancer; bilateral breast cancer definition; bilateral breast carcinoma



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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.