Breast Papilloma

Last Modified: July 20, 2008

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I have a family history of breast cancer and am 38 years old. I had a workup for an abnormality found on mammogram and was seen by a surgeon. They have concluded that the area is a papilloma and recommend removal. Is this a precursor to cancer, and is it necessary to have it removed?

Answer

Kevin R. Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

A papilloma is a benign (meaning non-cancerous) entity that probably would never become a cancer. However, it should be removed regardless, even if it is a benign papilloma, because it can cause bloody nipple discharge that can be quite annoying and bothersome.

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