- Non-cancerous Breast Conditions
- What is normal breast tissue and what does it do?
- Finding non-cancerous breast conditions
- Breast cancer can be found early
- Diagnosing non-cancerous breast changes
- Nipple discharge exam (nipple smear)
- Types of non-cancerous breast conditions
- Fibrosis and simple cysts
- Lobular carcinoma in situ
- Phyllodes tumors
- Intraductal papillomas
- Granular cell tumors
- Fat necrosis and oil cysts
- Duct ectasia
- Other non-cancerous breast conditions
- How non-cancerous breast conditions affect breast cancer risk
- For women at increased breast cancer risk
- To learn more
In adenosis (ad-uh-NO-sis) the breast lobules are enlarged, and they contain more glands than usual. Adenosis is often found in biopsies of women with fibrocystic changes. There are many names for this condition, including aggregate adenosis, tumoral adenosis, or adenosis tumor. Even though some of these terms contain the term tumor, adenosis is not a cancer.
Sclerosing adenosis is a special type of adenosis in which the enlarged lobules are distorted by scar-like fibrous tissue.
If many enlarged lobules are close to one another, they may be large enough to be felt. When this is the case, it may be hard for the doctor to tell these lumps from a breast cancer with only a breast exam. Also, calcifications (mineral deposits) may form in adenosis, in sclerosing adenosis, and in cancers. These can be hard to tell apart on mammograms and a biopsy is usually needed to know if they’re caused by adenosis or cancer. (In a biopsy, tissue is removed and checked under a microscope.)
Link to cancer risk
Some studies have found that women with sclerosing adenosis have a greater risk of developing breast cancer – about 1½ to 2 times the risk of women with no breast changes.
Last Medical Review: 01/14/2014
Last Revised: 01/14/2014