What is the prognosis of breast abscesses and masses?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Andrew C Miller, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Breast mass: Prognosis varies from excellent in patients with a fibroadenoma to poor in those with inflammatory breast cancer. Influencing factors include tumor size, histology, nodal involvement, distant metastases, and comorbid conditions.

Breast abscess: Unfortunately, the recurrence rate of breast abscess is high (39%-50%) when treated with standard incision and drainage, and studies have shown even higher recurrence rates in women undergoing fine-needle aspiration. [30] Nonpuerperal abscesses recur more frequently, especially when associated with non-staphylococcal species (>50% recurrence rate). [8] Studies of patients with fistulectomy show lower recurrence rates.

Mastitis: Most patients experience resolution within 2-3 weeks. All patients with symptoms that have not resolved within 5 weeks should be evaluated for resistant infection or malignancy.

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