Hormones And Breast Pain:
Breast Pain Doesn't Always Mean Breast Cancer:
Painful Benign Breast Conditions And Cancer Risk:
• Benign Breast Conditions With Low Risk:
Non-proliferative cells - normal rate of cell growth and division
- Abscess beneath areola or within breast tissue
- Ductal ectasia - blocked milk duct, sometimes with nipple discharge
- Fat necrosis - fatty tissue that has died and become thick or hard
- Fibrocystic changes - cyclical symmetrical swelling and tenderness
- Mastitis - breast infection
- Sebaceous cyst with infection - bump below skin containing keratin
- Simple fibroadenoma - lump made of fibrous and lobular tissue
• Benign Breast Conditions With Moderate Risk:
Proliferative cells without atypia - faster than normal rate of cell growth with no abnormal cells
- Complex fibroadenoma - lump made of mixed fibrous and lobular tissue, cysts, lobes, etc.
- Multiple fibroadenomas - two or more simple fibroadenomas
- Radial scar - a star-shaped dense mass within breast (rare)
Fibroadenomas and scar tissue can be removed with surgery or non-invasive ablation by laser, freezing, radio waves, or vacuum. A breast fibroadenoma must be diagnosed with a breast biopsy, so the cells can be tested to rule out other conditions.
• Benign Breast Conditions With Heightened Risk:
Proliferative with atypia - faster than normal rate of cell growth and having abnormal cells
Hyperplasia is a benign condition in which cells grow faster than normal. Atypical hyperplasia is considered a precancerous condition. Atypical cells are abnormal and have the potential to develop into noninvasive breast cancer, such as ductal carcinoma in situ. Discuss the benefits of surgically removing any atypical hyperplasia with your doctor.
• Benign Sources of Breast Pain:
- Breast injury
- Healing from breast surgery
Cyclical mastalgia and breast cancer risk: results of a French cohort study. Plu-Bureau G, Lê MG, Sitruk-Ware R, Thalabard JC. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Jun;15(6):1229-31.
Mastalgia and breast cancer: a protective association? Khan SA, Apkarian AV. Cancer Detect Prev. 2002;26(3):192-6.
What are the risk factors for breast cancer? American Cancer Society. Last Revised: 02/09/2011.