Extreme delay in care for enlarging breast mass

Aaron D. Rutzick, Scott F. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phyllodes tumor (PT) of the breast is an uncommon fibroepithelial tumor accounting for 0.37% of primary breast cancers. Most PT are <5.0 cm, averaging 4-7 cm. We present a case of PT measuring 28 cm in diameter with an extreme computed tomography image with tumor size larger than the adjacent thoracic circumference. A 59-year-old uninsured woman without significant medical history presented with a massive ulcerated chest wall tumor. The mass was resected, and microscopic examination demonstrated spindled cells within a myxoid stroma, consistent with PT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1278-1279
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The patient avoided medical care out of fear of the financial hardship she would accrue without any health insurance. She was not in denial of her condition, and she suffered no psychiatric illness. Because her pension income was very low, she did qualify for emergency general medical assistance, which was funded by the State of Minnesota. Her medical bills were paid. She was totally unaware of this program until her urgent hospitalization. So far, she has been able to keep her house, but she is financially burdened by significant credit card debt that accumulated as her disability increased. She needs to supplement her pension to meet expenses, and she plans to return to work as soon as possible.


  • Breast mass
  • Phyllodes tumor
  • Underinsured.
  • Uninsured


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