- Non-cancerous Breast Conditions
- What is normal breast tissue and what does it do?
- Finding benign breast conditions
- American Cancer Society recommendations for early breast cancer detection
- Diagnosing benign breast changes
- Imaging tests for breast disease
- 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 benign breast conditions
- How benign breast conditions affect breast cancer risk
- For women at increased breast cancer risk
- Additional resources
For women at increased breast cancer risk
Women with some of the breast conditions listed above may be at increased risk for breast cancer. But it is important to keep in mind what this increase in risk really means.
For example, according to one study, about 5 of 100 women living in the Midwest (a mainly white population) who do not have any benign breast conditions would be expected to develop breast cancer within the next 15 years.
Among women with a benign condition that increases risk 1½ to 2 times, this would mean that about 7 to 10 out of 100 might be expected to develop breast cancer in the next 15 years.
Among women with atypical hyperplasia (ductal or lobular), whose risk is 3 1/2 to 5 times normal, about 18 to 25 women out of 100 would be expected to develop breast cancer within 15 years.
It's also very important to keep in mind that many other factors can affect a woman's risk. Her age, race/ethnicity, body weight, family history, her menstrual and pregnancy history, and other factors all affect her risk. (For more information, please see the section "What are the risk factors for breast cancer?" in our document, Breast Cancer) These factors must be taken into account when trying to determine a woman's actual risk of breast cancer.
If you are at higher than average risk for breast cancer, talk with your doctor about whether you should have breast MRI along with your screening mammograms and whether you should start screening at an earlier age. You may also want to discuss steps you could take that might lower your risk of breast cancer, such as taking certain medicines.
Last Medical Review: 08/24/2012
Last Revised: 08/24/2012