Inflammatory Lesions of the Breast and the Role of the Breast Microbiome


Inflammatory lesions of the breast pose diagnostic and treatment dilemmas given their rare prevalence, unclear etiology, chronic symptoms, dispersed care among different physician subspecialties, and sometimes confusing medical literature on the topic. However, pathologists can play a key role in helping affected patients by educating clinicians on the differential diagnosis, advocating for proper tissue culture, and furthering the field of study on breast microbiota.

Originally presented on February 9, 2020, in Park City, Utah.

Lecture Presenter

Susan C. Lester, MD, PhD

Susan C. Lester, MD, PhD

Senior Consultant
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Pathology and Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Assistant Professor of Pathology
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Lester received her PhD in genetics at the University of Wisconsin and her MD from Harvard Medical School. She trained in pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and was the Chief of Breast Pathology Services for over 20 years. She has served on committees for the College of American Pathology, the American Joint Committee on Cancer, and the World Health Organization. She was the chairperson of the CAP breast cancer review panel during the development of the first standardized reporting protocol for DCIS as well as a major revision of the invasive cancer protocol. Dr. Lester is well known for writing the Manual of Surgical Pathology, as well as co-writing Diagnostic Pathology: Breast with Dr. David Hicks, and being the lead writer of Diagnostic Pathology: Intraoperative Consultation (both included in ExpertPath and PathPrimer). She has also written numerous chapters including the Breast Chapter for Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease and Robbins Basic Pathology. She has a major interest in pathologic/radiologic correlation and has published widely in this area. A current area of interest is developing open access internet pathology teaching education tailored for pathologists in countries with limited resources.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Review current knowledge of the breast microbiota
  • Review symptomatic inflammatory lesions of the breast and the possible role of the microbiota in breast infections
  • Identify the clinical, pathologic, and treatment differences between cystic neutrophilic granulomatous mastitis and squamous metaplasia of lactiferous ducts

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories