The adolescent breast - Normal and abnormal development, diseases and tumors

Benny Schachter, Ami Fishman, Yoram Beyth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The possible problems of an adolescent breast include a large spectrum of phenomena such as changes which may cause aesthetic problems, infectious diseases and in rare cases, malignant tumors. Young adolescents and their mothers tend to consult with a gynecologist usually due to developmental abnormalities of the growing breast such as asymmetry of the breast, agenesis or hypoplasia of one breast. Cysts and tumors are usually worrisome and warrant attention and precise diagnosis. Purpose: The aim of this paper is to review the recent studies and data concerning breast diseases in adolescents and to summarize by presenting symptoms, diagnostic procedures and the most up-to-date treatment modalities. Method: A comprehensive and updated literature review. Results and Conclusions: A large variety of abnormal phenomena in the breast during adolescence have been described. Abnormal breast development in adolescents may present themselves as an aesthetic problem only, but other symptoms such as breast tumors or cysts may arouse suspicion of malignancy of the breast. These findings may be the initiative for the first clinical visit to a gynecologist, initiated by the patient herself or by her parent. Malignancy of the breast in adolescence is very rare, especially when there are no risk factors such as family history or previous X-ray radiation to the breast region. In any case, detailed medical history should be recorded and meticulous physical examination performed in order to rule out any breast pathology that may necessitate prompt treatment. Usually, breast problems in adolescents are benign disorders and only require follow-up without additional treatment. In any aesthetic problem or developmental abnormality, surgery should be postponed until the breast has completed the adolescent stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-779+805
JournalHarefuah
Volume142
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • Abnormal development
  • Adolescent
  • Breast
  • Infection
  • Tumors

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