Breast masses are a common clinical finding. The majority of palpable breast masses are benign, but 10% of women who present with this finding will have a diagnosis of cancer. Approximately 4% of breast cancers will present with a palpable mass and no mammographic or ultrasonographic evidence of disease.
A delayed or missed breast cancer diagnosis can severely affect patient outcome.
Evaluation of a breast mass is guided by findings on history, physical exam, imaging, and biopsy. A triple test of clinical breast exam, imaging (e.g., mammography and ultrasonography), and needle biopsy can lead to a definitive diagnosis in nearly all cases.
- Fibrocystic breast
- Fat necrosis
- Intraductal papilloma
- Breast abscess
- Invasive breast cancer
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
- Phyllodes tumor
- Atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) and atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH)
- Radial scar
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
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