About 1 in 25 indian women have a chance of developing  invasive breast cancer in their lifetime and it is the commonest form of cancer in the country. So it is easy to understand why women are concerned when they notice changes in their breast related to development of lump , discharge ,pain or nipple changes.

However not all breast lumps are caused by cancer. The good news is that 70 to 80 % lumps in the breast are not caused by or related to cancer in any way. They are called Benign (non cancerous) Breast disease.

Here are 6 non cancerous diseases of the breast that are common.

1.      Simple cysts : they are small fluid like sacs that form inside breast tissue. They can develop anytime during adulthood but are common in the 40 s. They can vary in size from small ones which are only seen on ultrasound to large ones which can be palpated by hand.

2.      Fibrosis : They are bands of fibrous tissue and the breast may feel firm or rubbery compared to surrounding areas. They are usually associated with cysts and are called fibrocystic breast diseases. There may be breast pain or discomfort associated with it specially during periods.

3.      Adenosis : In adenosis the breast glands are enlarged resulting in formation of lumps . There is associated fibrosis and usually associated fibrocystic changes of the breast.

4.      Fat Necrosis : This happens when breast tissue is damaged as a result of traumatic injury, breast surgery or radiotherapy. The fat tissue die off and release their liquid contents.This usually results in scar tissue and formation of firm or hard areas of lumps.

5.      Mastitis :  This an acute inflammation or infection of the breast tissues as a result the breast may be red, warm , swollen and tender to touch. There may be associated fever with chills.This can commonly happen with lactating women when the duct is blocked and the accumulated milk gets infected and is called lactation mastitis.

6.      Duct ectasia : This happen when the milk duct dilates and the walls become thick. This causes the duct to be blocked and fluid accumulated inside which intermittently results in nipple discharge. Scarring around the area may result in lump formation. It commonly occurs in later age near menopause.

It is very important to understand and consult your doctor at the earliest if you have any symptoms so that appropriate diagnosis is made and any concerns put to rest.

Get consultation with the General and Laparoscopic surgeon today! Dr. Anushtup De – Senior Consultant and Head Unit I , General and Minimal Access Surgery

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