Medical Q&As

Breast buds - need investigation?

My 9 year old daughter had a slight breast bump behind her right nipple which our GP said should go as it could be hormonal. It did go away, having lasted a couple of weeks. It is now back again several months later and I am wondering if we should have it investigated further. Is this just part of her normal development? Any suggestions appreciated. The area is not sore to touch as long as it is done very gently.

Normal pubescent breast development usually follows a pattern that was originally described by a Dr Tanner and the various stages are known as the Tanner stages. Stage 1 begins with slight elevation of the nipple. Stage 2 is characterised by the development of the breast and nipple into a small mound. This is often referred to as the breast bud stage. The areola or pigmented area around the nipple also increases in diameter at this stage. The subsequent stages result in further enlargement of the breast until stage 5 is reached when the breasts have achieved full maturity. Your question suggests that your daughter has preceded through Tanner stages 1 and 2 and sounds very normal. I would be very slow to recommend referral for further investigation but it would be reasonable to return to your GP for a second assessment. It is most unusual for young girls of your daughter’s age to suffer any significant breast pathology.