Medical Definition of Breast development, early

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Breast development, early: The beginning of breast development at puberty is known medically as thelarche. It is now a normal event at an earlier age (e.g., age 8) than in the past.

The term thelarche comes from two Greek words: "thele," nipple + "arche," beginning. Thelarche is frequently (and incorrectly) written without the "h" as telarche.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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