We have never taken for granted the sacred trust you place in us to care for your child, and today we are more grateful than ever for that privilege. To learn about all the ways we are working to keep you, your family and our team members safe, visit our COVID updates page. In pediatric patients, breast masses are relatively rare and — if they do occur — most are benign. The most common breast abnormality seen in children younger than 12 is a unilateral breast growth where one breast grows faster than the other.
Management of Pediatric and Adolescent Breast Masses
Article - Breast masses in children and adolescents
The approach to breast masses in children differs from that in adults in many ways, including the differential diagnostic considerations, imaging algorithm and appropriateness of biopsy as a means of further characterization. Most pediatric breast masses are benign, either related to breast development or benign neoplastic processes. Biopsy is rarely needed and can damage the developing breast; thus radiologists must be familiar with the imaging appearance of common entities so that biopsies are judiciously recommended. The purpose of this article is to describe the imaging appearances of the normally developing pediatric breast as well as illustrate the imaging findings of a spectrum of diseases, including those that are benign fibroadenoma, juvenile papillomatosis, pseudoangiomatous stromal hyperplasia, gynecomastia, abscess and fat necrosis , malignant breast carcinoma and metastases , and have variable malignant potential phyllodes tumor. This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution. Rent this article via DeepDyve.
Breast masses in children and adolescents
In the pediatric and adolescent population, breast masses are nearly always benign, self-limited and managed conservatively, in contrast to adults, where malignant tumors have a relatively high incidence and often require excision. This article describes the imaging features of developmental variants and breast masses in children and adolescents, and the associated clinical findings that can facilitate the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of these patients. Ultrasonography is the mainstay of breast imaging in children and adolescents, in contrast to adults, where mammography is the standard screening study. Mammography also utilizes ionizing radiation, and the principle of radiation exposure in a young population is to keep the radiation dose as low as reasonably achievable. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging MRI are ancillary studies that can be helpful in characterizing breast masses when sonography is equivocal and in assessing the extent of metastatic disease or a primary tumor for surgical planning.
Breast masses in children and adolescents are uncommon and most often benign. Occasionally, however, they require surgical intervention for lifestyle limiting symptoms or malignant potential. These masses are best evaluated with physical exam and ultrasound. Breast masses likely to be encountered by the surgeon in the pediatric and adolescent population include intraductal papillomas, phyllodes tumors, primary breast cancer, and metastatic lesions.