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Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Aug;15(8):2272-7. doi: 10.1245/s10434-008-9962-6. Epub 2008 May 13.

Benign papilloma on core biopsy requires surgical excision.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan Street, Parkville 3050, Australia.



When a papillary lesion is identified on core biopsy of an impalpable breast lesion, standard practice involves excisional biopsy. Recent literature has questioned the need for surgical excision in patients with benign core biopsy and radiological concordance. Our aim was to assess whether surgical excision is required by targeting this concordant group in a large screen-detected population.


A retrospective review of a prospectively collected database of all benign papillary core biopsies between February 1995 and September 2007 at North Western Breast Screen and Monash Breast Screen in Melbourne, Australia was performed. All patients had surgical excision, enabling correlation between core and final excisional biopsy results on all lesions. All histology reports were reviewed and the radiology was reassessed.


During a 14-year period, 5783 core biopsies were performed from 633,163 screening mammograms. Eighty patients (0.01%) had benign papilloma on core biopsy, no patients had atypia on core biopsy, and all patients had benign radiological features. Of the 80 patients, 15 patients were found to have ductal carcinoma in situ (8) or invasive ductal carcinoma (7) on final pathology, yielding a 19% malignant rate.


Core biopsy showing benign papillary lesion, even where radiology is also suggestive of a benign process, cannot exclude malignancy, and therefore surgical excision is required.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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