Benign breast disease primer

Benign breast disease primer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States but breast surgeons likely manage many more patients with benign breast disease then cancer. In some respects, management of benign breast disease presents more challenges to breast surgeons because there are few randomized studies on benign breast disease and national guidelines often do not address benign breast disease in as much detail as malignant disease. In this issue of the Annals of Breast Surgery we present a “Practice Guide to Management of Benign Breast Disease” from a surgeon perspective. This journal issue is a comprehensive guide to management of benign breast disease including infectious disease, skin disorders and high risk lesions. It is intended to provide practical and evidence based guidance on how to manage patients who present with benign breast disorders. Each author has done an extensive literature review to present the most contemporary literature on benign breast disease. Each article uses a combination of either case scenarios, algorithms or summary tables to highlight key management points of certain benign disorders. This guide is intended for the busy practicing surgeon who seeks to read the most up to date management of benign breast disease and high risk lesions. Much of the focus of these articles are noncancerous lesions detected on a breast core biopsy that commonly present in a breast surgeon’s clinic but for which management has been controversial. The articles also address common clinical symptoms seen in the breast clinic such as nipple discharge, skin lesions, infections and breast pain. We purposely did not address work up of a breast mass or congenital disorders because these are adequately addressed in other publications and were not the focus of this issue. We hope this guide will assist breast surgeons worldwide to manage common benign breast disorders and noncancerous controversial breast pathology.


Funding: None.


Provenance and Peer Review: This article was commissioned by the editorial office, Annals of Breast Surgery for the series “A Practical Guide to Management of Benign Breast Disease”. The article has undergone external peer review.

Conflicts of Interest: The author has completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form (available at: The series “A Practical Guide to Management of Benign Breast Disease” was commissioned by the editorial office without any funding or sponsorship. KY served as the unpaid Guest Editor of this series and serves as an unpaid editorial board member of Annals of Breast Surgery from Oct 2019 to Sept 2021. The author has no other conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical Statement: The author is accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Open Access Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits the non-commercial replication and distribution of the article with the strict proviso that no changes or edits are made and the original work is properly cited (including links to both the formal publication through the relevant DOI and the license). See:

Katherine Yao

Katharine Yao, MD

Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Clinical Professor of Surgery, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, Evanston, IL, USA.

Received: 22 June 2021; Accepted: 18 July 2021; Published: 30 September 2021.

doi: 10.21037/abs-21-86

doi: 10.21037/abs-21-86
Cite this article as: Yao K. Benign breast disease primer. Ann Breast Surg 2021;5:21.