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Breast Diseases

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Summary

Most women experience breast changes at some time. Your age, hormone levels, and medicines you take may cause lumps, bumps, and discharges (fluids that are not breast milk).

If you have a breast lump, pain, discharge or skin irritation, see your health care provider. Minor and serious breast problems have similar symptoms. Although many women fear cancer, most breast problems are not cancer.

Some common breast changes are:

  • Fibrocystic breast changes - lumpiness, thickening and swelling, often just before a woman's period
  • Cysts - fluid-filled lumps
  • Fibroadenomas - solid, round, rubbery lumps that move easily when pushed, occurring most in younger women
  • Intraductal papillomas - growths similar to warts near the nipple
  • Blocked milk ducts
  • Milk production when a woman is not breastfeeding

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Start Here

  • Breast Changes and Conditions From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
  • Facts for Life: Benign Breast Conditions (Susan G. Komen for the Cure) - PDF Also in Spanish
  • Non-Cancerous Breast Conditions (American Cancer Society) Also in Spanish

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Breast Biopsy From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • Breast Cyst Aspiration (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
  • Breast Lump: Early Evaluation Is Essential (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Breast Pain in Women (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
  • Galactography (Ductography) (American College of Radiology; Radiological Society of North America) Also in Spanish
  • Needle Biopsy (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Ultrasound - Breast (American College of Radiology; Radiological Society of North America) Also in Spanish

Specifics

  • Adenosis (American Cancer Society) Also in Spanish
  • Benign Breast Conditions (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
  • Breast Calcifications (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Breast Cysts (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Breast Lumps (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • Breast Pain (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • Breast Rash (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Fat Necrosis and Oil Cysts (American Cancer Society)
  • Fibrosis and Simple Cysts (American Cancer Society)
  • Galactorrhea (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
  • Hyperplasia (Ductal or Lobular) (American Cancer Society) Also in Spanish
  • Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Mammary Duct Ectasia (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Mastitis (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
  • Nipple Discharge (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Images

  • Nipple Dermatitis (VisualDX)
  • Supernumerary Nipple (VisualDX)

Clinical Trials

  • ClinicalTrials.gov: Breast Diseases From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • ClinicalTrials.gov: Gynecomastia From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • ClinicalTrials.gov: Mastitis From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • ClinicalTrials.gov: Mastodynia From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

  • Article: An Online Mammography Database with Biopsy Confirmed Types.
  • Article: Multidrug resistant Klebsiella Pneumoniae reservoir and their capsular resistance genes in...
  • Article: Biomineralogical signatures of breast microcalcifications.
  • Breast Diseases -- see more articles

Find an Expert

  • American Cancer Society
  • Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health Also in Spanish
  • Find an Ob-Gyn (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
  • National Cancer Institute From the National Institutes of Health Also in Spanish

Teenagers

  • Gynecomastia (For Teens) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
  • Why Are My Breasts Different Sizes? (Nemours Foundation)
  • Why Are My Breasts Sore? (For Teens) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish

Patient Handouts

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.

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