JOURNAL ARTICLE

The growing fibroadenoma

Linda M Sanders, Rana Sara
Acta Radiologica Open 2015, 4 (4): 2047981615572273
25922691

BACKGROUND: Fibroadenomas (FAs) are the most common tumors of the breast clinically and pathologically in adolescent and young women but may be discovered at any age. With increasing use of core biopsy rather than excision for diagnosis, it is now commonplace to follow these lesions with imaging.

PURPOSE: To assess the incidence of epithelial abnormalities (atypia, in situ or invasive, ductal or lobular malignancies) in FAs diagnosed by core biopsy and to re-evaluate the management paradigm for any growing FA.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A retrospective review of the senior author's pathology results over 19 years identified 2062 nodular FAs (biopsied by ultrasound or stereotactic guidance). Eighty-three core biopsied FAs were identified which subsequently enlarged.

RESULTS: Twelve of 2062 of core biopsied nodules demonstrated atypia, in situ, or invasive malignancy (ductal or lobular) within or adjacent to the FA (0.58%). Eighty-three FAs enlarged and underwent either surgical excision (n = 65), repeat core biopsy (n = 9), or imaging follow-up (n = 9). The incidence of atypia, in situ or invasive malignancy was 0/83 (0%). Two enlarging FAs were subsequently surgically diagnosed as benign phyllodes tumors (PT).

CONCLUSION: Malignancy in or adjacent to a core biopsied FA is rare. The risk of cancer in a growing FA is even rarer; none were present in our series. FAs with abnormal epithelial abnormalities require excision. Otherwise, FAs without epithelial abnormality diagnosed by core biopsy need no specific follow-up considering the negligible incidence of conversion to malignancy. The breast interventionalist must know how to manage discordant pathology results.

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