Breast Abnormalities

Some common benign breast abnormalities that pose very little or no risks for breast cancer include

  • Cysts: These mostly occur in women in their middle-to-late reproductive years and can be eliminated simply by aspirating fluid from them.
  • Fibroadenoma: These are solid benign lumps that occur in women ages 15 – 30.
  • Breast abscesses during breast-feeding.
  • Nipple discharge: Discharge from the nipple is worrisome to patients, but it is unlikely to be a sign of cancer. Unexplained discharge still warrants evaluation, however.
  • Mastalgia: This is breast pain that occurs in association with, or independently from, the menstrual cycle. About 8-10% of women experience moderate-to-severe breast pain associated with their menstrual cycle. In general, breast pain does not need assessment unless it is severe and prolonged.

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