Our 20-Year Institutional Experience with Surgical Approach for Breast Hamartomas

Eur J Breast Health. 2019 Jul 1;15(3):171-175. doi: 10.5152/ejbh.2019.4624. eCollection 2019 Jul.


Objective: Hamartomas are rare, slowly-growing breast tumours. Clinical, radiological and histopathological examination together increase the diagnostic accuracy. To evaluate the clinicopathologic features of hamartomas and outline our clinical approach to hamartomas in our 20-year experience at our Breast Clinic.

Materials and methods: Between 1995 and 2015, 24 cases were retrospectively analyzed with a diagnosis of breast hamartoma at our Breast Clinic followed by excisional biopsy. Data was obtained on patient demographics, clinical examination, radiological findings and histopathological subtypes.

Results: Of 1338 benign breast tumours excised from January 1995 to January 2015, 24 (1.8%) were identified as breast hamartoma. Median age of patients was 42 (range, 13-70), whereas the median tumour size was 5 cm (1-10 cm). On preoperative imaging, hamartoma was most commonly misdiagnosed as fibroadenoma. Pathological examination of the 24 biopsy specimens revealed 3 cases with pseudoangiomatous stromal hyperplasia, and another hamartoma associated with a radial scar within the centre of the lesion. Of those, one patient was diagnosed with malignant phylloides tumour in the same breast. At a median follow-up 58.4 months, none of the patients recurred or developed malignancy.

Conclusion: Hamartomas can often be missed by clinicians, due to its benign nature which is poorly understood. Despite their slow growth, hamartomas can reach large sizes and can cause breast asymmetry. Although it is rare, hamartoma can be seen along with malignancy, as it is formed from similar components of breast tissue. Therefore, careful diagnosis and appropriate management including surgery are required.

Keywords: Breast disease; hamartoma; phyllodes tumor.