Rare benign tumours of the nipple

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Abstract

Background

Benign lesions of the breast in total are much more frequent than malignant ones. However, there are no epidemiologic data on the prevalence of benign or malignant tumours of the nipple, and the bibliography on benign nipple tumours in general is limited.

Aims

To present some rare cases of benign nipple tumours and review the literature.

Materials and methods

Four cases of rare benign nipple tumours: neurofibromas, wart, leiomyoma and milium are presented. The literature search on benign nipple tumours was performed using MEDLINE, Pubmed, and Cochrane databases with limits: English language, human species and available abstract. The keyword used was ‘benign nipple tumours’.

Results

The initial search retrieved 337 articles. The papers were reviewed and the articles that referred to benign lesions that appeared at the nipple specifically were identified. Different entities that were described included: neurofibroma, leiomyoma, milium, florid papillomatosis, syringomatous adenoma, nevoid hyperkeratosis, fibroma, pseudolymphoma and haemangioma.

Discussion

Differential diagnosis of benign tumours of the nipple can be demanding for the physicians. Many of the symptoms and signs like pruritus, serosanguinous discharge, lichenification, erosion and nodular enlargement are produced by either malignant or benign nipple lesions. Radiology can be unclear in the diagnosis of nipple abnormalities.

Conclusion

Histological examination of the lesion can be the only definite answer in these cases.

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