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Value of diagnostic imaging for the symptomatic male breast: Can we avoid unnecessary biopsies?

  • Eric T. Foo
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
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  • Amie Y. Lee
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: University of California, San Francisco, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, 1600 Divisadero Street, Room C250, Box 1667, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
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  • Kimberly M. Ray
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
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  • Genevieve A. Woodard
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
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  • Rita I. Freimanis
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
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  • Bonnie N. Joe
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
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      Highlights

      • Malignancy is rarely a cause of breast symptoms in males.
      • Diagnostic breast imaging successfully detected all cases of malignancy, demonstrating both high sensitivity and specificity.
      • Breast imaging in symptomatic male patients can be useful to establish benign diagnoses and avert unnecessary biopsies.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To review the use of diagnostic breast imaging and outcomes for symptomatic male patients.

      Methods

      We retrospectively evaluated 122 males who underwent diagnostic imaging for breast symptoms at our academic center.

      Results

      The majority (94%) of cases had negative or benign imaging, with gynecomastia being the most common diagnosis (78%). There were two malignancies, both of which had positive imaging. Fifteen patients underwent percutaneous biopsy, and over half (53%) were palpation-guided biopsies initiated by the referring clinician despite negative imaging. Diagnostic imaging demonstrated 100% sensitivity and 96% specificity for identifying cancer.

      Conclusions

      Malignancy is rarely a cause of male breast symptoms. Diagnostic breast imaging is useful to establish benignity and avert unnecessary biopsies.

      Keywords

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