Common Benign Breast Conditions
A benign or non-cancerous breast condition refers to abnormal changes to the breast that are not as a result of cancer cells in or on the breast. These unusual growths include a cyst, lump, rash or nipple discharge. These common benign breast conditions can occur in both men and women.
Benign breast conditions are not life-threatening, but there are those that may increase the probability of you getting breast cancer later on. That said, benign breast conditions are very common, even more common than malignant (cancerous) breast conditions.
Types of Common Benign Breast Conditions
- Breast Calcification: These are small dots made of calcium that are found inside a woman’s breast tissue. They usually don’t have any symptoms and they can’t be felt during a routine breast exam. They are only seen during a mammogram. Although breast calcifications are benign, they can be an early symptom of breast cancer.
- Gynecomastia: Gynecomastia is the over-development and enlargement of male breast tissue. It is a non-cancerous common condition that affects most men at any age. The condition can affect one or both breasts and the signs vary in size; from small and large, to more female-looking breasts.
- Periductal Mastitis: This is a non-cancerous condition of the breast that develops when the breast ducts underneath the nipple become inflamed and infected. The condition does not increase your chances of developing breast cancer.
Symptoms of Common Benign Breast Conditions
Common symptoms of benign breast conditions include:
- Breasts that are tender to the touch
- A lump in the breast
- Fever (if you have periductal mastitis)
- Nipple discharge
- Swelling and pain
- Nipple retraction
- Skin irritation
- Nipple redness
- Scaling of the skin or nipple
What You Should Do If You Discover a Common Benign Breast Condition
When you find a common benign breast condition, do not panic. Most benign breast conditions are non-cancerous, although there are those which can be an early sign of breast cancer, like breast calcifications. Call your doctor and have an appointment at the earliest for an evaluation. Other breast changes you should note include:
- Thickening in any area of your breast that feels different
- Discharge, whether bloody or clear, from your nipples
- Skin irritation on your breast
- Changes in the size, shape, or contour of your breast
- A change in how your nipple looks or feels
- Breast pain that doesn’t go away
If you notice any benign breast condition, or any changes with your breasts, book your appointment as soon as possible with your doctor. At King’s College Hospital London Dubai, our Breast Care Clinic caters to most types of breast conditions, whether malignant or benign. For more information on breast cancer and breast care, book an appointment below.