Benign Breast Disease
Benign breast disease includes all nonmalignant conditions of the breast, including benign tumors, trauma, mastalgia, mastitis, and nipple discharge. Benign tumors include pathologic changes that do not increase a patient's risk for developing cancer, lesions that confer a slightly increase risk, and lesions that are associated with an up to 50% risk of developing breast cancer. Both benign and malignant breast disorders can present with a palpable mass; skin dimpling, thickening, or erythema; pain; nipple discharge and inversion or distortion; or an abnormal screening mammogram with no clinical findings. Tools available to investigate breast problems include clinical breast examination, mammogram, and ultrasound. This article discusses the gynecologist's role in maintaining breast health, the clinical evaluation of breast problems, and management of benign breast disease.
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