High-risk and selected benign breast lesions diagnosed on core needle biopsy: Evidence for and against immediate surgical excision

Mod Pathol. 2022 Nov;35(11):1500-1508. doi: 10.1038/s41379-022-01092-w. Epub 2022 Jun 2.


The vast majority of image-detected breast abnormalities are diagnosed by percutaneous core needle biopsy (CNB) in contemporary practice. For frankly malignant lesions diagnosed by CNB, the standard practice of excision and multimodality therapy have been well-defined. However, for high-risk and selected benign lesions diagnosed by CNB, there is less consensus on optimal patient management and the need for immediate surgical excision. Here we outline the arguments for and against the practice of routine surgical excision of commonly encountered high-risk and selected benign breast lesions diagnosed by CNB. The entities reviewed include atypical ductal hyperplasia, atypical lobular hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ, intraductal papillomas, and radial scars. The data in the peer-reviewed literature confirm the benefits of a patient-centered, multidisciplinary approach that moves away from the reflexive "yes" or "no" for routine excision for a given pathologic diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast / surgery
  • Breast Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Carcinoma in Situ* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating* / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Lobular* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / pathology