If a lump is found in the breast of an adolescent girl, she often will undergo an excisional biopsy.

However, breast cancer is rare in adolescents, and the vast majority of teenage breast lumps turn out to be benign masses that are related to hormones.

A recent Loyola University Health System study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology suggests that a breast ultrasound examination might eliminate the need for biopsy in many cases.

Loyola radiologists performed ultrasound examinations on 20 girls ages 13 to 19 who had lumps in their breasts, including one girl who had a lump in each breast. The ultrasound studies indicated that 15 of the 21 lumps appeared to be benign, while and six were suspicious.

Follow-up biopsies or clinical examinations found that all 21 lumps were benign. These findings suggest that if a breast ultrasound finds nothing suspicious, the patient likely does not need to have an excisional biopsy, said lead author Dr. Aruna Vade, a professor in the Department of Radiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Vade and her colleagues indicated that excisional biopsies should be reserved for solid breast masses that are suspicious or show progressive growth or masses that are found in patients who are known to have a primary malignant tumor or family history of cancer.

Among girls younger than 19, there are fewer than 25 cases of breast cancer per 100,000 per year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Source: Science Daily

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625133207.htm