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A Mysterious Case of a Breast Lump in a Woman From the Philippines

Rennert-May, Elissa, MD*; Dixit, Devika, MD, MSc

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: January 2018 - Volume 26 - Issue 1 - p 47–49
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0000000000000585
Case Reports

We present the case of a 74-year-old woman who recently emigrated from the Philippines to Canada, with an unusual etiology for her breast lump. Based on review of breast histopathology by a pathologist, as well as parasitology specialist and clinical history, the causative organism of this breast lump was Schistosoma japonicum. This is an uncommon manifestation of schistosomiasis, which causes more than 40 million clinical infections annually.

Schistosomiasis is a common cause of tropical infections but it can present in unusual ways. In this case, a woman from the Philippines presented with a breast lump thought to likely be cancerous. After repeated biopsies, the presence of calcified egg shells consistent with Schistosoma species was discovered. This case highlights the importance of taking into consideration travel and immigration history.

From the *Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta; and †Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence to: Elissa Rennert-May, MD, AGW5, SSB Ground Floor, Foothills Medical Centre, 1403 29 St NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 2T9. E-mail:

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