MODERN medical vigilance and early cancer detection require an accurate appraisal of the importance of benign breast disease and its relation to cancer. The strength of such a study rests upon the weakness of our present modes of cancer diagnosis and therapy. Does the significance of chronic cystic mastitis lie in the insignificance with which it is so often regarded? Should patients with fibroadenosis look forward to the future as a promise or as a threat? Can we accept with confidence the vacillating voices of preeminence, or must we fall back upon ill-defined and intangible clinical judgment, the limitations of which are all too apparent in the candor of our own individual experience?
Each of us I am sure can recall a patient operated upon for a benign breast lesion, verified as innocent by pathologic examination, in whom some time later a carcinoma developed within the operative site. Or many