Non-Cancerous Breast Conditions

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Other non-cancerous breast conditions

Some other types of less common benign or non-cancerous tumors and conditions can also be found in the breast.

Radial scars

Radial scars, also called complex sclerosing lesions, are often found when a breast biopsy is done for some other purpose. Radial scars may distort the normal breast tissue.

Radial scars are not really scars, but are called such because they look like scars when seen under a microscope.

Radial scars do not usually cause symptoms, but they are important for 2 reasons. First, if they are large enough, they may look like cancer on a mammogram, or even on a biopsy. Second, they are linked to a slight increase in the woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Women who have them may be advised to see the doctor more often than usual. Many doctors recommend removing radial scars.

Other breast changes that are not cancer

Lipomas are common, benign fatty tumors that can appear almost anywhere in the body, including the breast. They’re usually not tender.

Other less common benign lumps or tumors that may be found in the breast include:

  • Hamartoma: a smooth, painless lump formed by the over-growth of mature cells
  • Hemangioma: a rare tumor made of blood vessels
  • Hematoma: a collection of blood within the breast caused by internal bleeding
  • Adenomyoepthelioma: a very rare tumor formed by certain cells in the duct walls
  • Neurofibroma: a tumor that’s an over-growth of nerve cells

None of these conditions raises breast cancer risk, but they may need to be biopsied or removed to know what they are.

Last Medical Review: 03/16/2015
Last Revised: 04/21/2016