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Breast lumps in young women

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 18 July 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:209

Reassurance is appropriate only after clinical, radiological, and pathological assessment

  1. J B Walls, Consultant radiologist
  1. Breast Screening Unit, Barnsley District General Hospital NHS Trust, Barnsley S75 2EP
  2. Edinburgh Breast Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU

    EDITOR–Reed's Personal View about her doctors' failure to investigate her breast cancer is generous.1 The incidence of breast cancer in her age group may be low but is not negligible, being 25/100 000 in those aged 30-35.2It would not be acceptable in a breast clinic to reassure a 32 year old woman on the assumption that a palpable lump is a fibroadenoma without having done adequate triple assessment by clinical, radiological, and pathological methods. The risk in Reed's case was not just the loss of a breast; it was the loss of a daughter, a sister, a partner, a friend, and, most tragically, a mother of a young child.

    The general …

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