A sound approach to diagnosing and treating breast problems can reduce anxiety for both patients and doctors. This involves careful history-taking, a thorough clinical examination, appropriate investigations and specialist referral if appropriate.
- Common breast-related presentations include breast pain, infections, lumps and nipple discharge.
- A sound approach to diagnosing and treating breast problems involves thorough history-taking, including a hormone and family cancer history, a comprehensive physical examination, appropriate imaging with or without tissue diagnosis and specialist referral if appropriate.
- Breast pain is rarely a symptom of cancer; it can be cyclical or noncyclical and a common cause is musculoskeletal.
- Breast infections require early treatment with appropriate antibiotics to avoid abscess formation.
- Benign breast lesions can be categorised within a spectrum of breast changes with some lesions requiring close follow up.
- Breast lumps should be worked up with triple test management.