A new study at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Centre in Jerusalem has found that women with complex fibroadenomas could effectively be treated with procedures similar to simple fibroadenomas rather than being treated with a surgical biopsy.
Fibroadenoma is a benign tumour growth of the breast that is common in young women and is often detected with simple ultrasound-guided, non-surgical biopsy.
Complex fibroadenomas have calcifications and small cysts that make their pathology more complex, compelling the doctors to recommend surgical removal to ensure that the fibroadenoma is not malevolent.
The researchers assessed the clinical and imaging presentations of biopsy-proven complex fibroadenomas in 63 patients and compared the pathologies and sizes of the lesions.
The findings revealed that only one out of the 63 patients with complex fibroadenomas had a malignancy, and that the patient with a malignancy had already shown previously.
Dr Miri Sklair-Levy, lead author of the study believes that lack of proper information medical literature prompts the doctors to recommend surgical removal.
'There is a lack of information or guidelines in the medical literature about the management of complex fibroadenomas, causing a dilemma for doctors with patients who have these lesions,' said Sklair-Levy
'Because the management of these patients is not clear, there is a tendency to excise them on surgery following a needle biopsy.'
'The findings from our study showed that complex fibroadenomas can be treated similar to simple fibroadenomas, meaning follow-up without the need to excise the lesions surgically,' said Dr. Sklair-Levy
The exception to this practice would be if some atypical high-risk lesions are found, as in the case with the one patient in our study. In those situations, the complex fibroadenomas should be surgically excised to rule out malignancy,' Sklair-Levy added.
The study appears in a recent issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.