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This article has been peer reviewed and is published in BMC International Seminars in Surgical Oncology Volume 4, 27 July 2007, Article number 21. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/1477-7800-4-21. Copyright © BioMed Central Ltd.


BACKGROUND: Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis is an uncommon, benign entity with a diagnosis of exclusion. The typical clinical presentation of idiopathic granulomatous mastitis often mimics infection or malignancy. As a result, histopathological confirmation of idiopathic granulomatous mastitis combined with exclusion of infection, malignancy and other causes of granulomatous disease is absolutely necessary. CASE PRESENTATION: We present a case of a young woman with idiopathic granulomatous mastitis, initially mistaken for mastitis as well as breast carcinoma, and successfully treated with a course of corticosteroids. CONCLUSION: There is no clear clinical consensus regarding the ideal therapeutic management of idiopathic granulomatous mastitis. Treatment options include expectant management with spontaneous remission, corticosteroid therapy, immunosuppressive agents and extensive surgery for refractory cases.

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