What should a teenage girl do if she finds a lump in her breast?

June 25, 2009

MAYWOOD, Il. -- If a lump is found in the breast of an adolescent girl, she often will undergo an excisional biopsy.

However, breast cancer is rare in adolescents, and the vast majority of teenage breast lumps turn out to be benign masses that are related to hormones.

A recent Loyola University Health System study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology suggests that a breast ultrasound examination might eliminate the need for biopsy in many cases.

Loyola radiologists performed ultrasound examinations on 20 girls ages 13 to 19 who had lumps in their breasts, including one girl who had a lump in each breast. The ultrasound studies indicated that 15 of the 21 lumps appeared to be benign, while and six were suspicious.

Follow-up biopsies or clinical examinations found that all 21 lumps were benign. These findings suggest that if a breast ultrasound finds nothing suspicious, the patient likely does not need to have an excisional biopsy, said lead author Dr. Aruna Vade, a professor in the Department of Radiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

In an excisional biopsy, the surgeon makes an incision along the contour of the breast and removes the lump. However, this procedure can be painful, change the shape of the breast and leave a small scar.

Vade and her colleagues indicated that excisional biopsies should be reserved for solid breast masses that are suspicious or show progressive growth or masses that are found in patients who are known to have a primary malignant tumor or family history of cancer. Their study is published in the September, 2008 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Among girls younger than 19, there are fewer than 25 cases of breast cancer per 100,000 per year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The vast majority of breast lumps in adolescents are benign and tend to wax and wane. Over time, many disappear. Many teenage girls undergo biopsy of breast lumps because of parental anxiety and surgeons' concerns, Vade said.

Vade and colleagues wrote that for adolescents who present with solid masses that appear benign on ultrasound examination, "we conclude that excisional biopsy may not always be necessary."
-end-
Vade's co-authors are Dr. Kathleen Ward, medical director of Women's Health Imaging, Loyola University Health System; Dr. Jennifer Lim-Dunham, clinical associate professor in the Department of Radiology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; Dr. Davide Bova, assistant professor of radiology at Stritch and Dr. Vaishali Lafita, a radiology resident at Loyola University Medical Center.

Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 28 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 561-licensed bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.

Loyola University Health System

Related Breast Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Oncotarget: IGF2 expression in breast cancer tumors and in breast cancer cells
The Oncotarget authors propose that methylation of DVDMR represents a novel epigenetic biomarker that determines the levels of IGF2 protein expression in breast cancer.

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.

Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.

More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.

Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.

Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.

Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.

Read More: Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.