What are some benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions?
Cysts – These are fluid or tissue filled sacs occurring most commonly in women approaching menopause. These are often observed by doctors over time or drained using fine needle aspiration. There are several types of cysts as described below:
- Fibroadenomas – These are smooth, round and hard lumps that can usually move easily around the breast. This lump can be anywhere from 5mm to 5cm and may become larger during pregnancy or nursing. Fibroadenomas will usually disappear or get smaller over time and therefore are normally left alone, especially in younger women in which they are most common. However, the procedure for removal is simple and some women may choose to have the lumps removed.
- Fat Necrosis – This is an often painless swelling of fatty breast tissue, often occurring after surgery or injury to the breast. This tumor can look like cancer and is therefore sometimes removed by surgical biopsy.
- Sclerosing Adenosis – Is an enlargement of breast lobules which is sometimes painful and can contain calcifications.
Intraductal Papilloma – This is a wart-like growth located inside the nipple which can cause discharge. It is usually treated by surgery.