Benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions are unusual growths or other changes in the breast tissue that are not cancer.
Having a benign breast condition can be scary at first because the symptoms often mimic those caused by breast cancer. You or your doctor might be able to feel a lump or see nipple discharge, or your mammogram might pick up something that requires further testing.
Any abnormal change in the breast can be a sign of cancer and needs to be checked out. However, many changes turn out to be benign. In fact, benign breast conditions are quite common — even more common than breast cancer.
Although benign breast conditions aren’t cancer, some can increase your risk of eventually developing breast cancer. Experts often group benign conditions into three categories, according to whether they raise breast cancer risk:
- no increase in risk
- moderate increase in risk
You and your doctor can develop a follow-up plan that suits your diagnosis. Conditions that carry “no increase” and a “slight increase” in breast cancer risk typically require no further action beyond the usual breast cancer screening recommendations for women at average risk.
This section includes information about some of the more commonly diagnosed benign breast conditions. (We have not included every possible diagnosis; there are many, many breast cell changes that are considered benign. See your doctor for more information.)
- Benign breast conditions linked to a slight increase in breast cancer risk
- Benign breast conditions linked to a moderate increase in breast cancer risk
- Benign breast changes due to inflammation, infections, pregnancy, and more
A benign breast condition can lead to a distinct growth or lump that sometimes can be felt through the skin. Or it can be something unusual picked up on a screening mammogram.
If you have symptoms, they’re often similar to those associated with breast cancer, such as:
- a lump that can be felt through the skin or nipple
- skin irritation
- nipple pain or retraction (meaning part of the nipple looks like it is puckered or pulling inward)
- determine whether the condition is associated with any increase in cancer risk
- A breast physical exam and medical history:医生检查乳房，密切关注该地区或地方有一个肿块或其他异常变化。他或她也需要一个完整的病史，包括当前和以前的症状，一般的乳房健康，并为乳腺癌的危险因素。
- Imaging tests:The most commonly used tests are mammography, an X-ray examination of the breast; and ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the breast tissue. Ultrasound is a good tool for telling the difference between lumps that are fluid-filled (called cysts) and those that are solid (which can indicate cancer or another benign breast condition, such as fibroadenoma). A breast MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging scan, may also be done if other imaging tests don’t provide enough information.
- 乳头溢液分析：如果你有乳头溢液,可以采取样本n and examined under a microscope for the presence of blood or other abnormal cells. In some cases, additional tests may be needed to figure out the cause.
- Biopsy:Biopsy involves removing a tissue sample and examining it under a microscope. Typically you would have a core needle biopsy, which removes slivers of tissue, or an excisional biopsy, which removes abnormal tissue from the area.
In most cases, today’s imaging techniques are advanced enough to tell the difference between a benign breast condition and cancer, notes Alan Stolier, M.D., a surgical breast oncologist with St. Charles Surgical Hospital and the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans. “If anything about the imaging is suspicious, we will go a step further with biopsy,” he says. “If we don’t recommend anything else be done, we have a high level of confidence it is benign.”
Many benign breast conditions don’t increase your risk of developing breast cancer later on. Some of them cause symptoms, while others may be picked up on a routine screening mammogram or ultrasound. They include:
Benign breast conditions linked to a slight increase in breast cancer risk
Some benign breast conditions are associated with a slight increase in the risk of developing breast cancer. All of these conditions involve an overgrowth of breast cells that closely resemble normal, healthy cells. The cells look fairly typical and are not abnormal (the technical term is “lesions without atypia”).
The increase in cancer risk is so slight that it generally doesn’t change recommendations about screening practices or follow-up. Your doctor may encourage you to pay closer attention to getting annual mammograms and adopting healthy behaviors that lower risk, such as exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol. (See降低您的风险了解更多信息。）但是，你患乳腺癌的风险仍然被认为是类似于妇女平均风险的。
In addition, your individual situation will be taken into account. You and your doctor can discuss your benign diagnosis in relation to any other well-defined risk factors you may have, such as family history or personal medical history. You can then decide if you need a different follow-up plan. (For more information, visit后续护理乳腺良性条件。）
- Usual Ductal or Lobular Hyperplasia
- Radial Scars
- Flat Epithelial Atypia
Benign breast conditions linked to a moderate increase in breast cancer risk
Benign breast conditions known as “atypical hyperplasias” are linked to a moderate increase in the lifetime risk of breast cancer. However, if you are diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, your risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in any given year remains low. The actual risk of developing breast cancer over a lifetime depends on other breast cancer risk factors as well as the age you were diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia.
“Hyperplasia” means that there is excessive growth of breast cells that are also “atypical,” meaning they have some, but not all, of the features of carcinoma in situ (an early form of breast cancer that stays inside the duct or lobule where it started). These cells aren’t cancer but they aren’t completely normal either. Sometimes they are also called neoplasias.
Thanks to the increased use of mammography screening, atypical hyperplasias are being diagnosed more often than ever before. An abnormal finding through screening would lead to biopsy and examination of the tissue.
If you’re diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, keep in mind that these conditions are not breast cancer. They also don’t mean you will develop breast cancer one day. Instead, these conditions suggest a potential for moderate increased risk in both breasts, not just the breast where the cell changes were found. They give you good reason to pay closer attention to your breast health and perhaps work with a breast specialist. However, most women with atypical hyperplasias will never get breast cancer.
There are two main types of atypical hyperplasia:
Benign breast changes due to inflammation, infections, pregnancy, and more
许多良性乳房条件与inflam有关mation, pain, and infection. There can be areas of redness and swelling involving the nipple, areola, and/or skin of the breast. Such symptoms are usually not a sign of breast cancer. However, any breast changes that persist over time should be checked by a breast specialist. Infections usually get better quickly and completely resolve after a couple weeks’ treatment with antibiotics. If you have symptoms of inflammation and infection that won’t go away, you can ask your doctor to rule out a rare form of cancer known as inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon but aggressive form of breast cancer that usually starts with redness and swelling in the breast rather than a distinct lump. Learn more about炎性乳腺癌.
If you’ve ever been pregnant or you’re close to someone who has, you know that pregnancy and breastfeeding lead to major changes in the breasts. Pregnancy-related hormones increase the volume and density of the breasts. The breasts not only get bigger but the tissue inside them becomes more glandular and less fatty — all part of the process of getting ready to produce milk after the baby is born. These tissue changes, along with the act of breastfeeding itself, make pregnancy and the postpartum period a prime time for developing benign breast changes.
Closer follow-up might be needed if:
- you have a benign condition linked to a moderate increase in breast cancer risk, such as atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ
- you have a benign condition linked to a slight increase in breast cancer risk, but you also have some knownbreast cancer risk factors, such as family history
Your plan may include the following:
More intensive screening
- starting mammograms before age 40
- having additional screening tests such as ultrasound or MRI of the breast, which can aid with early detection
- being screened more frequently (say, every 6 months instead of every 12 months), perhaps alternating the type of test you have each time — mammography and MRI, for example
- maintaining a healthy weight
- exercising regularly
- limiting alcohol
- avoiding or stopping hormone replacement therapy
详细了解不同的方式来lower your risk of breast cancer.
- tamoxifen (brand names: Nolvadex, Soltamox)
- toremifene (brand name: Fareston)
- exemestane (brand name: Aromasin)
These medications have side effects, so you and your doctor can discuss whether the benefits in terms of risk reduction are great enough to justify taking them.
Marcia Boraas, M.D., FACS在Fox Chase癌症中心，宾夕法尼亚州费城，肿瘤外科的副教授
艾伦Stolier，医学博士，FACS, surgical breast oncologist, St. Charles Surgical Hospital and the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, New Orleans, LA
罗宾M. CIOCCA，DO, surgical breast oncologist, Lankenau Medical Center, Wynnewood, PA
Donna-Marie Manasseh, M.D., director of the Breast Cancer Program at Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Brian S. Wojciechowski, M.D., medical oncologist, Crozer-Keystone Health System, Philadelphia area, PA; Breastcancer.org medical adviser
大丽花M. Sataloff，医学博士综合乳腺中心的主任vice chairman of the department of surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital; clinical professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
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