What are the symptoms associated with breast abnormalities?
Mild breast tenderness often occurs premenstrually in association with fibrocystic changes or exercise or as a sign of early pregnancy. Severe breast tenderness is not a major complaint of healthy adolescents. Asymmetry of the breasts is common, especially in the early stages of breast development. In all cases of breast asymmetry, a careful examination should be made to rule out a breast mass, cyst or abscess.
What problems are associated with breast abnormalities?
The congenital absence of one or both nipples is very rare and may not be associated with absent breast tissue. A lack of breast development may be secondary to congenital absence of glandular tissue, a systemic disorder, radiation therapy, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, gonadal dysgenesis, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism or rarely an intersex disorder or 17a-hydroxylase deficiency.
How are breast abnormalities diagnosed?
In cases of a breast mass the work-up should include a complete physical examination and assessment of the mass including evaluation of consistency, size, mobility, tenderness, warmth, overlying skin changes, and associated discharge. The majority of adolescents who complain of a "breast lump" have normal breast tissue or fibrocystic changes. These changes may be due to an imbalance of estrogen/progesterone.
How are breast abnormalities treated?
Women with a breast mass may require a surgical removal of that mass. Most breast masses in adolescents are not cancerous.
What research is being done?
More Information: Center for Young Women's Health.