Most women initially consult their gynecologist when they have concerns about breast disorders. Although breast cancer is usually the patient's biggest fear, it is benign breast disease, a common disorder, which often complicates a thorough evaluation and which interferes with the early diagnosis of breast cancer. This article summarizes the current state of knowledge on the cause, diagnosis, and prognosis of selected benign breast disorders. Recent progress includes a promising line of research on the content of cyst fluids, better definition of breast cancer risk, and increasing acceptance of ultrasound techniques to differentiate cystic from solid masses.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.