New York, March 31: Breast cancer is rare in adolescents and an ultrasound examination might eliminate the need for biopsy in many teens with breast lumps, suggests new research led by an Indian-origin scientist.
The study published in the Journal of Ultrasound emphasises 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.
“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 cm and volume change per month greater than 16 percent then it need not undergo biopsy,” said lead author Aruna Vade, professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
The researchers studied 37 teenage girls with a total of 45 breast lumps. They aimed to determine whether the size of their breast mass 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 divided into three groups. Those in group one underwent a follow-up ultrasound and a biopsy. Group two girls only had a biopsy and group three girls underwent a follow-up ultrasound with no biopsy.
None of the lumps showed changes in appearance at the follow-up ultrasound, and all biopsied lumps were benign.
Other factors were studied, including 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 percent had undergone biopsies then the biopsies could have been reduced in 89 percent of girls in group one and 96 percent in group three of their patients.