APPROACH TO COMMON BREAST DISEASES IN PRIMARY CARE “FINDINGS AND DIAGNOSTIC MODALITIES”
Women consult their primary care physicians frequently due to breast symptoms. Since breast cancer is the most common malignant disease in Turkish women, most breast symptoms are caused by physiological or benign rather than malignant diseases. For many women, a great deal of anxiety is associated with experiencing a breast symptom. Much of the primary care physician’s role therefore is to exclude cancer and provide an explanation of the nature of the condition. He/she reassures the patient that the symptom is not dangerous. This article, reviews the most common breast-related symptoms, including breast pain, breast mass, nipple discharge as well as nipple and areola changes. Further information about investigation of breast symptoms and the use of different diagnostic tools will be given as well as a practical approach for the management of lactational mastitis. Since opportunistic screening for breast cancer is getting common among intellectual women, accordingly the abnormal findings are increasingly reported. The importance of these findings should be discussed as a second opinion by an experienced radiology consultant. By implementinga rational as well as algorithmic approach, the patients with high probability of having malignant disease would be referred to specialized centers without delay. Moreover, unnecessary referrals to these centers can also be prevented by appropriate diagnose and management of benign breast diseases at the primary care settings.