Imaging Benign Breast Diseases: The Role of Sonography and Mammography

Steven Marks

*President, MedCom Consultants, Inc, Potomac MD

Address correspondence to: Steven Marks, MedCom Consultants Inc, 1311 Fallsmead Way, Potomac MD 20854. Email:

Disclosure statement: Steven Marks reports having no financial or advisory relationship with any corporate, medical, or political organization doing work related to this paper or other business activity at MedCom Consultants, Inc.



enign breast diseases (BBDs) are a common and heterogeneous collection of conditions seen in women who present with palpable breast abnormalities. Most BBDs, which includes simple and complex cysts, solid masses, and other nonproliferative and proliferative disorders, are identified on screening and diagnostic imaging and confirmed on histologic analysis. Targeted sonography and diagnostic mammography are the 2 most common imaging modalities currently in use with the appropriate choice of approach determined by the woman's age, demographics, breast anatomy, clinical examination, and biopsy findings. A substantial body of evidence has shown that when used as indicated, sonography and mammography are highly sensitive and specific means to evaluate palpable breast masses, triage patients for subsequent clinical management and imaging evaluations, and justify postimaging tissue biopsy. In so doing, the 2 approaches can safely and cost-effectively establish a prompt positive diagnosis for those women with breast cancer, while bringing peace of mind to the majority of women with BBDs.

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