Finding a lump in the breast can cause a lot of anxiety. However, most breast lumps particularly in younger women, are not caused by cancer. A new study has revealed that the vast majority of teenage breast lumps turn out to be benign masses that are related to hormones and often go away over time. As breast cancer is very rare in adolescents, an ultrasound examination might eliminate the need for biopsy in many teenage girls with breast lumps.
Researchers studied 37 teenage girls with a total of 45 breast lumps. They aimed to determine whether the size of their breast lump at an initial ultrasound and their growth at a follow-up ultrasound could be used to decide between conservative management of the lump or a more invasive tissue biopsy. The girls were randomly divided into three groups. Those in the first group underwent a follow-up ultrasound and a biopsy. Girls in group two only had a biopsy, while group three girls underwent a follow-up ultrasound with no biopsy.
The researchers noticed that none of the lumps showed changes in appearance at the follow-up ultrasound, and all biopsied lumps were benign. They also studied other factors such as lump dimension, volume and volume change. The researchers concluded that if only those breast masses with a largest dimension greater than three cm and a volume change per month greater than 16% had undergone biopsies then the biopsies could have been reduced in 89% of girls in group one and 96% in group three of their patients.
Aruna Vade, professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and also the lead author of the study, said, "These findings suggest that if at a follow-up breast ultrasound, if a benign appearing breast mass does not meet the combined criteria of largest dimension greater than three centimeter and volume change per month greater than 16% then it need not undergo biopsy."
The study is published in the Journal of Ultrasound.