Non-cancerous Breast Conditions
Finding a lump on your breast can be a frightening experience, however, it is important to remember that not all lumps are cancerous. Non-cancerous, also known as benign, breast conditions refer to abnormal changes in the breast, such as cysts, discharge, or other irritations that are non-life threatening. While they may not pose an immediate threat on your health, some of these conditions are linked to a higher risk of developing breast cancer in the future. They can also cause tenderness and pain that affects daily functioning. Non-cancerous breast conditions should be treated with the same attentiveness and care as breast cancer.
Types of Non-cancerous Breast Conditions
- Breast cysts
- Intraductal papilloma
- Mammary duct ectasia
- Traumatic fat necrosis
What Causes Non-cancerous Breast Conditions?
Non-cancerous breast conditions can be caused by a variety of factors such as:
- Breast makeup (fatty tissue or dense breasts)
- Birth control
- Being overweight
- Fibrocystic breast changes
- Breast infection
What Are the Symptoms of Non-cancerous Breast Conditions?
Different breast conditions will trigger different symptoms, however, many will share symptoms such as:
- Pain or tenderness
- Redness or irritation
- Change in breast size or shape
- A lump
- Nipple retraction
- Nipple discharge
- Scaly nipples or breast
How to Diagnose Non-cancerous Breast Conditions
If you begin to notice any changes or problems with your breast(s), talk to your doctor immediately. Discuss your symptoms and share any history of cancer within your family with them. Sometimes, your doctor will detect potential problems during a routine screening even if you have not begun to experience symptoms yet. Diagnostic testing such as mammograms or ultrasounds may be required in order to rule out cancer. In the case of a lump on the breast, your doctor may suggest surgery or aspiration in order to obtain a sample to be tested. If you are suffering from abnormal nipple discharge, your doctor may sample and analyze the fluid. Test results are sent to a lab to be examined, then your doctor will contact you by phone. If your results show a benign breast condition, it is recommended to follow up with your doctor in 4-6 weeks.
How to Treat Non-cancerous Breast Conditions
Most of these conditions will not require additional treatment once diagnosed. Some conditions, such as duct ectasia, cysts, and mastitis may require antibiotics or pain relievers. In some cases, such as fat necrosis and intraductal papillomas surgery may be required.
If you’re dealing with a breast condition, we are here for you. Call us at 732-741-9595 or fill out our online appointment form.