Breast Disorders

Also known as: breast diseases

What are breast disorders?

There is a wide range of breast problems found in children:

  • Congenital breast disorders (occur before birth)
  • Benign breast disorders (not cancerous)
  • Cancerous breast disorders 

Most breast disorders are benign and usually self-limiting.

Girls and boys may both present with breast issues. Perhaps the commonest breast abnormality in young girls seen in the pediatrician's office is a one sided breast enlargement (when one breast bud develops earlier or faster than the other).

Breast development in girls typically begins between the ages of 8-13; and lasts for an average of 10.3 years.

What causes breast disorders?

The cause of a breast disorder will vary depending on the diagnosis. Some changes simply occur with age or changing hormone levels as the child matures into puberty. Others may be the result of congenital anomalies of the breast, infections, certain medications and genetic or hereditary factors.

What are the signs/ symptoms of breast disorders?

Some signs and symptoms of abnormal breast development include:

  • Abnormal breast enlargement
  • One breast larger than the other
  • Nipple discharge
  • Breast pain
  • Skin changes (redness)
  • Lump/thickening felt in the breast

What are breast disorder care options?

In some cases treatment may not be needed. If treatment is needed factors like your child's age, the diagnosis and severity of the problem and the child's psychosocial well being, will determine will determine the best approach.

Your Nicklaus Children's Hospital specialist physician will discuss and guide you to make the best decision for your child.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: January 29, 2021 03:52 PM

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