Histological analysis of breast lesions in a Nigerian population


  • Raphael S. Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, University of Abuja and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Abimiku B. A.
  • Abdul O. A.
  • Nwana E. J. C.


Breast lesions, Fibroadenoma, Invasive ductal carcinoma, Fibrocystic change, North Central Nigeria


Context: Breast cancer is the most common site-specific cancer among women in Nigeria and globally, and it is a leading cause of cancer related fatalities.
Objective. This study documents the prevalence, histologic subtypes, relative frequency, and histopathologic characteristics of breast lesions seen in a North Central Nigerian population
Materials and Method: This was a retrospective review of all breast lesions diagnosed at the pathology department of a tertiary health institution in North Central Nigeria in a 5-year period.
Results: In the study period, 1081 patients had breast specimens taken, representing 8.6% of all specimens (12501) processed in the department. Of the 983 patients’ whose specimens were included in this study, 954 were females (97%) and 29 (3%) were males, giving a female to male ratio of 32.9:1. The lesions consisted of 31 (3.2%) non neoplastic breast lesions (NBLs), 590 (60.0%) benign neoplastic breast lesions (BNBLs) and 362 (36.8%) malignant breast lesions (MBLs), with a BNBLs to MBLs ratio of 1.6:1. The most common BNBLs breast lesions seen during the study period was fibroadenoma (318/590, 53.9%), followed by fibrocystic change (186/590, 31.5%). The cancers were mostly carcinoma (98.3%) with invasive ductal carcinoma (300/362, 82.9%) being the most common followed by invasive medullary carcinoma (38/362, 10.5%).
Conclusion: Breast lesions are common lesions among females in our setting. A significant proportion of these lesions are malignant and affects young females. The histologic spectrum, demographic and histopathology characteristics are similar to previous reports in the country.

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