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The female adolescent breast

disorders of development

Khaja, Anam; DeSilva, Nirupama

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: October 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 5 - p 293–297
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000564

Purpose of review This article will provide an overview on female breast development and focus on common abnormalities of growth, the emerging role of breast self-awareness, and discuss trends in the evaluation and treatment of the breast masses and disorders most often encountered in the female adolescent population.

Recent findings Although the embryology of breast development is unchanged, data are emerging on the role of environmental factors on the timing of puberty and thelarche. As breast development occurs, the role of breast self-awareness is also a new trend that allows teens to be cognizant of changes in their own breast and to become more comfortable with their own anatomy. Finally, when breast treatments are needed or desired, the timing of breast treatments is a subject that must be individualized.

Summary There are numerous conditions that can result from disruption of normal breast development. These resultant breast disorders are generally benign but can still cause emotional distress to both the patient and family. It is thus imperative that healthcare providers be educated on breast development, the common breast masses that occur in the adolescent population and be prepared to discuss breast self-awareness and shared decision-making in this population.

University of Oklahoma-Tulsa School of Community Medicine, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Correspondence to Nirupama DeSilva, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa School of Community Medicine, 4502 E 41st Street, Tulsa OK 74135, USA. Tel: +918 660 8350; e-mail:

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