Misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer


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About misdiagnosis: When checking for a misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer or confirming a diagnosis of Breast Cancer, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Breast Cancer may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.

Alternative diagnoses list for Breast Cancer: For a diagnosis of Breast Cancer, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Breast Cancer:

  • Normal breasts - not all breast lumps are abnormal; breast changes can also occur from aging, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, oral contraceptives, and other reasons.
    • Aging - may cause breast changes
    • Menstrual cycle - may cause swollen or tender breasts.
    • Pregnancy - breast changes occur from pregnancy
    • Menopause
    • Birth control pills
    • Hormone therapies
  • Benign breast disease
  • Breast cyst (type of Cyst)
  • Breast abscess
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Breast fibroadenoma (type of Fibroadenoma)
  • Mastititis - mainly in breast-feeding women
  • Gynecomastia - in men (note that men can also get breast cancer)

Breast Cancer as an alternative diagnosis: The other diseases for which Breast Cancer is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Discussion of diagnosis/misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer: My 9-year-old daughter has developed a lump in her breast, but it is only on one side. Is this normal?

What you see as a lump is probably normal breast development. Breast development is usually the first sign of puberty, beginning between eight and fourteen years. It is common for one breast to begin to develop first. The second breast may not begin for up to six months after the first. You and your daughter should not be concerned.

The standard measure for pubescent breast development is called the Tanner stages. This scale identifies five developmental stages. In stage one a slight elevation of one or both nipples appears. Stage two is the breast bud stage characterized by elevation of the breast and nipple into a small mound. The diameter of the areola will also increase. It is likely that your daughter is entering the breast budding stage. The final three stages will produce more enlargement and definition of the breasts' shape until they reach full maturity at stage five.1

Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer: The following medical news items are relevant to misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer:

Misdiagnosis cases for Breast Cancer: No cases available yet.

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Puberty: NWHIC

Last revision: April 9, 2003

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