Benign Breast Conditions

There are four common breast problems:

  1. Fibrocystic breast
  2. Cysts
  3. Fibro-adenomas
  4. Mastitis

1. Fibrocystic breasts is a common condition which the breast tissue is lumpy and tender.  There is no treatment for this condition but taking Ibuprofen or applying ice or heat to the breasts as well as wearing a tight fitting bra may help alleviate the pain associated with this condition.

2. Breast cysts are fluid filled sacs found throughout the breast.  They can be cause pain and tenderness in the area of the cyst.  The cysts can get bigger and are common in women of reproductive age. Breast cysts are stimulated by hormones and are usually treated if they are large and painful.  A procedure called a fine needle aspiration to drain the fluid or a surgical excision of the entire cyst can be performed.  Typically birth control pills are used to prevent recurrence.

3. Fibro-adenomas are solid, well defined smooth shaped  lumps that may appear in both breasts.  They usually do not cause pain.  They are either surgically removed by a procedure called a lumpectomy or may be conservatively followed with ultrasounds and/or mammograms.

4. Mastitis

Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue. It is common when a woman is breastfeeding and a milk duct becomes clogged.  It can also occur in women who are not breastfeeding.  It begins with flu –like symptoms and the breast may become swollen, tender and hot to the touch.  Mastitis is treated based on the type of infection. Treatments include emptying your breasts, taking antibiotics, applying warm compresses several times a day.

If you find a lump in your breast during you should contact your health care provider immediately.  You will have a breast exam done and a mammogram will likely be ordered.