Evaluation of a Breast Mass

  • Alastair M. ThompsonEmail author
  • Andrew Evans


A breast mass is a common finding in women, but the differential diagnosis changes with age. A symptomatic mass or a screen-detected mass requires assessment including a full clinical and gynaecological history. Examination of the breast and regional nodes should seek cardinal signs of breast cancer, including skin or nipple distortion. Imaging (mammography for women over 40 years as a primary imaging technique and ultrasound as the first technique for women under 40 followed by MRI scanning if appropriate) and pathology (core biopsy) are used. The diagnosis or exclusion of breast cancer is the primary aim of the diagnostic process. If breast cancer is diagnosed, then subsequent staging and therapeutic management is required. If breast cancer is excluded, then the various benign lesions which can present as a breast mass need to be considered.


Breast Cancer Mammogram Ultrasound Biopsy Pathology Benign 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Breast Surgical OncologyUniversity of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Imaging and TechnologyUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK

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