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Benign Breast Conditions


The term “benign breast condition” is also referred to as a benign breast disease and signifies those conditions of the breast which are not cancerous.  These may include benign fibrocystic changes of the breast to benign lumps. Some may mimic a picture of cancer but on biopsy’s they come out to be of benign nature [non-cancerous].  Some breast conditions are of a simple nature and do not require treatment.

These conditions can take place in the breasts of both men and women. They are often not dangerous but some may lead to cancerous changes or an increased risk of developing cancer.

Different Kinds of Benign Breast Conditions

The following are considered to be benign kinds of breast conditions: 

All these conditions differ from each other in term of histology and may appear differently under the microscope.



Hyperplasia is a condition of abnormal growth of the breast cells. This abnormal growth takes place in the ducts or lobules of the breast. Hyperplasia can be typical or atypical. The risk of developing cancer is quite high with this condition.



Fibroadenomas are benign tumors mostly formed in young ladies in their reproductive age. They are easily removed surgically.



Cysts represent fluid filled cavities that are benign in nature. They can be small in size and only visible on an ultrasound or scan. Cysts may form in the reproductive age group and most of the times do not require any treatment. In cases where they cause pain, the cyst should be removed surgically or aspirated.

Symptoms of Cysts

Symptoms are minimal such as pain in the breast, discharge from the nipple and feeling of a lump in the breast.


Sclerosing Adenosis

Sclerosing adenosis may result from an abnormal enlargement of the lobule and appears as a lump. It has a somewhat irregular shape so it and may appear to be of a cancerous nature on the mammography. Therefore, a biopsy is a must to exclude any cancerous sort of condition.

It can be seen with other benign and cancerous breast conditions such as lobular carcinoma, and atypical hyperplasia and usually requires no treatment.


Intraductal Papillomas

These appear as tiny growths within the ducts of the breast and lead to discharge from the nipple. These papilloma’s form more frequently in women between the age 30 and 50.

Surgery is required to remove them. They are less likely to produce cancer as they are not at all dangerous.


Diabetic Mastopathy

Diabetic mastopathy is characterized by small hard lumps that appear within the breast and occur in diabetic patients; mostly those suffering from type 2 diabetes. It occurs in women of reproductive age. A biopsy is required after a mammography to determine the nature of the lesion.

Diabetic Mastopathy does not develop into breast cancer.


Benign Phyllodes Tumor

These tumors can be malignant as well as benign. They occur rarely and most of them are of a benign nature.  Benign phyllodes tumors are just like the fibroadenomas and usually develop in women of ages 30 – 50. Benign Phyllodes Tumors are usually painless masses.


Radial Scars

Radial Scars only consist of fibers of connective tissue. These are surgically excised and usually require no further treatment. 



Diagnosis is done by mammography, Doppler ultrasound and by biopsy.



Most lumps are surgically removed while some masses do not need medical or surgical interventions provided they are found to be benign.





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