Outcomes of surgical and sonographic assessment of breast masses in women younger than 30

Vargas, Hernan I.; Vargas, M. Perla; Eldrageely, Kamal; Gonzalez, Katherine D.; Burla, Melissa L.; Venegas, Rose; Khalkhali, Iraj
September 2005
American Surgeon;Sep2005, Vol. 71 Issue 9, p716
Academic Journal
journal article
Assessment of breast masses in young women is challenging due to normal glandular variance. Our purpose is to define the outcomes of specialized physical exam, selective breast sonography (BUS), and biopsy in women younger than 30. Five hundred forty-two patients younger than 30 referred with a palpable breast mass were studied. Patients' mean age was 24.8. Surgeon's physical exam confirmed a dominant mass in 44 per cent of cases. Thirty-seven per cent had normal clinical exams. Median tumor size was 2.2 cm. On multivariate analysis, a mass on surgeon's clinical exam (P < 0.0001), and BUS (P = 0.0001) predicted the presence of a true mass. Fifty-three per cent of self-detected abnormalities were true masses compared to 18 per cent when detected by the primary care provider (PCP) (P < 0.001). Most common diagnoses were fibroadenoma (72%), breast cysts (4%), or fibrocystic changes (3%). Malignancy occurred in 1 per cent. In summary, breast mass is a common reason for surgical consultation. Normal glandular nodularity is often mistaken for a mass. However, a judicious approach of physical exam by a surgeon using selective BUS and image guided core biopsy provides an efficient and safe approach for diagnosis. Breast malignancy is a rare but serious cause of breast mass in young women.


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