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Benign Breast Disease

Below are some common benign breast conditions that can cause lumps:

  • Fibroadenomas; benign tumours made up of both structural (fibro) and glandular (adenoma) tissues. Fibroadenomas feel solid, firm and round and can be moved around easily. They are usually painless.
  • Cyclic mastalgia; Swelling, tenderness or pain just before or during menstruation. May include the presence of one or more lumps. Symptoms of swelling, pain, and lumpiness disappear by the end of the menstrual period.
  • Fibrocystic changes, also known as general lumpiness or benign breast disease; Is one of the most common types of benign breast change especially in women aged between 30-50 years. Changes usually disappear after menopause.
  • Cyst; Fluid-filled, usually well-defined area in the breast. Occur most often during ages 35-50 years. Smaller cysts may disappear while larger ones may need to be drained by inserting a fine needle into the cysts to withdraw the fluid.
  • Fatty necrosis; Usually painless and often formed after an injury to the breast, with bruising followed by disintegration of fatty tissue in the area. The skin around the lumps may look red or bruised. 
  • Sclerosing adenosis; Excessive growth of tissues in the breast lobules. Frequently causes breast pain. Adenosis is often difficult to distinguish from cancer therefore is a surgical biopsy is performed to diagnose and treat.
  • Mastitis; Most commonly seen after delivery with breast-feeding, known as "postpartum mastitis". Usually due to blockage and inflammation of a breast duct, trapping breast milk and allowing growth of bacteria leading to infection. The area is usually red, warm, tender and lumpy with a low- or high-grade fever may be present, with or without chills. Often treated with antibiotics, surgery usually not necessary
  • Mammary-duct ectasia; Blockage and inflammation of a duct near the nipple. It can be painful, with green to gray nipple discharge. Often treated with antibiotics, although surgical removal of the duct may be necessary.