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Study Suggests Ultrasound Could Eliminate Breast Biopsies in Adolescent Girls

Results of a study published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine in April 2015, indicate that ultrasound examinations could replace invasive excisional tissue biopsies for adolescent girls with breast lumps.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Loyola University Health System (Maywood, IL, USA) and included a group of 37 adolescent girls with breast lumps. The researchers tried to determine whether the size of the breast lumps measured at an initial ultrasound, and their size at a follow-up ultrasound, could help the researchers decide whether a tissue biopsy was necessary or whether conservative management of the lump was sufficient.

The researchers documented lump dimension, volume, and change in volume, and concluded that breast biopsies could safely be limited to those girls with the largest lumps, and the highest increase in growth. Breast cancer is rare in adolescents, and most breast lumps in adolescent girls turn out to be temporary benign masses related to hormonal changes.

Aruna Vade, MD, professor at the Department of Radiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said, “These findings suggest that if at a follow-up breast ultrasound, if a benign appearing breast mass does not meet the combined criteria of largest dimension greater than 3 cm and volume change per month greater than 16 percent then it need not undergo biopsy.”