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A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 1999 June;158(3):91-4

language: Italian

Fibrocystic disease of the breast

Vadalà G., Caragliano L., Vadalà F., Caragliano P., Pappalardo A., Vadalà S.

Università di Catania, Cattedra di Chirurgia d’Urgenza e Pronto Soccorso


Background. Fibrocystic disease consists in a range of pathological alterations involving the breast which affect 89% of women of childbearing age.
Methods. The authors report their own experience in 258 patients suffering from benign breast pathology aged between 15 and 71 years old. Age and symptoms were the basic parameters for the study. After a careful clinical examination, all patients underwent thermography, ultrasonography and mammography.
Results. One hundred and twelve (44%) patients showed bilateral symptoms that could be classified as “mastodynia”. These were treated with medical therapy alone and patients were monitored regularly. Ninety-three (36%) patients underwent biopsy with the following results: 42 (45%) unclassified mastopathies; 29 (31%) cysts; 20 (22%) fibroadenoma; 1 (1%) papilloma, 1 (1%) adenoma, 27 (29%) patients with secretions from the nipple, including 1 hematic secretion. Five (5%) patients were diagnosed with a carcinomatous process. Fifty-three (20%) were diagnosed with carcinomas. In the 93 cases undergoing surgery, instrumental tests showed positive results in 95%. The highest incidence of disease was found between 41 and 50 year-old patients (35%).
Conclusions. The authors conclude that fibrocystic disease forms part of the physiological ageing syndrome of the organ and they stress the importance of prevention to determine the moment of possible transformation to cancer. The high incidence of these symptoms lead to the conclusion that it is not a real disease, but the normal evolution of the breast in response to hormone stimulation.

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