Small bowel obstruction from previously undiagnosed lobular
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Abstract :
This case report is the first in the Australian literature of a patient, without prior diagnosis, presenting with a bowel obstruction secondary to lobular breast cancer. This highlights a relatively rare cause of bowel obstruction, but also the importance of breast self-examination as a compliment to the current BreastScreen Australia program.

Presentation of case
A 67-year-old female presented to the Emergency Department with a 48-h history of sharp, constant epigastric pain, vomiting and constipation. The patient proceeded to emergency laparotomy for presumed large bowel obstruction, which revealed a stricture in the distal terminal ileum causing a distal small bowel obstruction. A right hemicolectomy was performed. Histopathology revealed the terminal ileum stricture to be metastatic lobular breast carcinoma. Clinical examination of the patient’s right breast revealed a lesion suggestive of the primary malignancy despite a normal ultrasound and mammogram in 2014. After failing to progress, a CT scan was performed which revealed progressive small and large bowel distension. A repeat laparotomy was performed revealing dilated large bowel without obstructing pathology and an intact anastomosis. A loop ileostomy was performed. Following a further febrile episode, the patient decided to withdraw care and the patient passed away three weeks into her admission from suspected intra-abdominal sepsis.

Breast cancer is becoming the third most common cancer amongst Australian women with a significant burden of disease and mortality.

Despite the rare presentation, this case reminds the medical community and general population of the importance of breast self-examination and the BreastScreen Australia program.....