A new study has suggested that when a teenage girl discovers a lump in her breast, she should go for ultrasound examination instead of going for an immediate excisional biopsy.
Breast cancer is rare in adolescents, and a vast majority of teenage breast lumps turn out to be benign masses that are related to hormones.
Thus, a recent Loyola University Health System study has suggested that a breast ultrasound examination might eliminate the need for biopsy in many cases.
For the study, 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 six were suspicious.
Follow-up biopsies or clinical examinations found that all 21 lumps were benign.
Lead author Dr. Aruna Vade, a professor in the Department of Radiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said that these findings suggest that if a breast ultrasound finds nothing suspicious, the patient likely does not need to have an excisional biopsy.
In an excisional biopsy, the surgeon makes an incision along the contour of the breast and removes the lump, but the procedure can be painful, change the shape of the breast and leave a small scar.
The vast majority of breast lumps in adolescents are benign and tend to wax and wane and many disappear over time.
Many teenage girls undergo biopsy of breast lumps because of parental anxiety and surgeons' concerns, said Vade.
The study appears in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.