Non-cancerous conditions of the breast
A non-cancerous (benign) condition of the breast is a change to breast cells, but it is not cancer. Non-cancerous conditions do not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body and are not usually life-threatening.
The most common non-cancerous conditions of the breast are:
- atypical hyperplasia
- breast pain (called mastalgia)
- breast cysts
- fibrocystic breasts
- nipple discharge
Other non-cancerous conditions that affect the breast include:
- breast infection (called mastitis)
- fat necrosis
- gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men)
- mammary duct ectasia
- radial scars
Expert review and references
Collins LC & Schnitt SJ . Pathology of benign breast disorders. Harris JR, Lippman ME, Morrow M, Osborne CK (eds.). Diseases of the Breast. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health; 2014.
Jalaguier-Coudray A, Thomassin-Piana J . Solid masses: what are the underlying histopathological lesions?. Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging. 2014.
Nassar A, Conners AL, Celik B, Jenkins SM, Smith CY, Heiken TJ . Radial scar/complex sclerosing lesions: a clinicopathologic correlation study from a single institution. Annals of Diagnostic Pathology. 2015.
Atypical hyperplasia of the breast
Women with atypical hyperplasia have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Learn about screening, diagnosis and treatment of atypical hyperplasia.
Breast pain is usually associated with a benign (non-cancerous) breast condition and is rarely a sign of cancer. Learn about causes, diagnosis and treatment of breast pain (called mastalgia).
Breast cysts do not increase the risk of breast cancer. Most are benign (non-cancerous) and are rarely cancerous. Learn about diagnosis and treatment of breast cysts.
Fibrocystic breast changes are a common benign (non-cancerous) condition involving thickening, lumps and cysts in the breast. Learn about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
Nipple discharge can be caused by several conditions, usually benign (non-cancerous). Learn about causes, diagnosis and treatment of nipple discharge.
Other non-cancerous breast conditions
Radial scars, fat necrosis and adenosis are benign (non-cancerous) conditions that can affect the breast. Learn about these other benign breast conditions.