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Short-Term Follow-Up Needed with Palpable Benign Breast Mass

January 14, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging
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Palpable breast tumors that appear benign should have short-term interval follow-up, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

While previous studies have looked at the outcomes of non-palpable breast masses, little has been known about those that are palpable, leading experts from the Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) to recommend against short-term interval follow-up for palpable breast masses.

In this retrospective study, researchers looked at outcome data on 375 palpable breast tumors in 320 women for which follow-up had been recommended. At follow-up (a mean of 2.7 years), 26 lesions, or 6.9 percent, had grown. Twenty-four of the 26 lesions were biopsied, with no cancer. Overall cancer prevalence was similar for palpable and non-palpable masses, and the cost of follow-up was lower than that of biopsy.

The study helps answer the question breast imagers have had for years: “Should palpability continue to be a factor in assessing breast masses?” notes reviewer Basil Hubbi, MD. A new BI-RADS edition, due out this year, should integrate data from this study with others and help minimize unnecessary biopsies, Hubbi adds.

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