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Benign Breast Disease

Pearlman, Mark D., MD; Griffin, Jennifer L., MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181ee9fc7
Clinical Expert Series
Expert Discussion
Spanish Translation

Benign breast diseases are among the most common diagnoses that the busy obstetrician–gynecologist will see in practice. Moreover, breast cancer will undoubtedly be diagnosed numerous times in an obstetrician–gynecologist's career. An ability to accurately and promptly diagnose both benign and malignant breast diseases is within the purview of the generalist obstetrician–gynecologist. A thorough understanding of benign breast diseases, including appropriate diagnostic techniques, is vitally important in well-women care. In addition, a working knowledge of breast cancer risk factors with the ability to identify women at high risk and either refer or initiate risk reduction methods is equally important. This review outlines common benign breast diseases stratified by future risk of breast cancer and discusses appropriate management after diagnosis.

An understanding of benign breast disease is important to assure appropriate management, reduce symptoms, distinguish benign from malignant disease, and potentially prevent future breast cancer.

From University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecology, Breast Diseases Program, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Continuing medical education for this article is available at

Corresponding author: Mark D. Pearlman, MD, University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Surgery, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, L4000 Women's Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0276; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2010 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.