Patients with benign papilloma diagnosed on core biopsies and concordant pathology-radiology findings can be followed: experiences from multi-specialty high-risk breast lesion conferences in an academic center

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2020 Oct;183(3):577-584. doi: 10.1007/s10549-020-05803-2. Epub 2020 Jul 23.


Background: To determine whether patients with benign papilloma diagnosed on core biopsy can be spared from surgery.

Methods: We prospectively reviewed 150 consecutive core biopsy-diagnosed papilloma cases at a multi-specialty high-risk breast lesion conference to determine whether surgical excision was necessary. Of these 150 cases, 148 had concordant radiologic-pathologic features. Six were excluded due to lack of the first imaging follow-up until analysis. 112 were benign papillomas; 17 were papillomas involved by atypical ductal hyperplasia (atypical papilloma); 6 papillomas had ADH in adjacent tissue but not involving the papilloma; 2 papillomas were involved by atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH); and 5 papillomas had ALH in adjacent tissue. Two were radiology-pathology (rad-path) discordant.

Results: Thirty-nine of the 112 benign papillomas were excised with no upgrade to carcinoma; 73 were followed with no disease progression during follow-up (185-1279 days). Fifteen of 17 atypical papillomas were surgically excised with 4 (26.7%) upgraded to carcinoma. Four of the 6 patients with ADH adjacent to a benign papilloma underwent excision with 2 upgrades to carcinoma. None of the patients with papilloma, which was either involved by ALH or had ALH in adjacent tissue had upgrade or disease progression during follow-up (204-1159 days). Finally, the two cases with discordant path-rad discordant were excised with no upgrade.

Conclusions: Our data confirm that rad-path concordant benign papillomas diagnosed on core biopsy do not require surgery. It also supports the value of a formal multi-specialty review of all benign papilloma cases to create a consensus management plan.

Keywords: Atypical papilloma; Breast surgery; Follow-up; High-risk breast lesion; Papilloma.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle
  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Papilloma* / diagnosis
  • Papilloma* / surgery
  • Radiology*