percent of all breast lumps are benign—a comforting thought
for most women. Your breast tissue is constantly changing throughout
your life, which means you should be prepared for differences and
changes at every stage of your life. Some of the causes for breast
abnormalities, beside breast cancer, include:
Mastitis is a breast infection that is characterized
by tenderness, redness and inflammation of the breast and can
also cause flu-like symptoms. Mastitis most commonly occurs in
women who are breastfeeding.
Fibrocystic breast disease is also known as
generalized breast lumpiness and tenderness, experienced by women
during menstruation. These lumps are actually milk ducts, but
they develop small cysts in response to hormones like estrogen
and progesterone that are released prior to menstruation. These
cysts are the most common cause of benign breast lumps in women.
Fibroadenomas are benign tumors found in the
breast that are made up of an excess of lobules, the glands that
produce milk. These tumors are solid, round and rubbery feeling
lumps and most often are found in women from 20 to 30 years old.
Simple cysts. These are fluid-filled
sacs in both breasts that may change with your menstrual cycle.
Intraductal papillomas are small growths near
the nipple that can produce bleeding from the nipple and usually
occur in women from 30 to 45 years old.
Nipple discharge is sometimes normal. If you
have a history of breastfeeding, you may experience nipple discharge.
If you’re not breastfeeding, an increase in certain hormones
such as prolactin may cause a milky discharge to emit from your
nipples. Stimulation or squeezing can also produce a nipple discharge.
The most common causes of nipple discharge include oral contraceptives,
increased breast stimulation and tricyclic antidepressants. If
the discharge is spontaneous, you should see a doctor. Spontaneous
discharge means the discharge was not triggered by stimulation
Click below to read about related topics.
The Breast Self-Exam
The Clinical Breast