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These are some of the less common types of benign (non-cancerous) tumors and conditions that can be found in the breast.
Radial scars are also called complex sclerosing lesions. They’re most often found when a breast biopsy is done for some other purpose. Sometimes radial scars show up as a distortion of the normal breast tissue on a mammogram.
Radial scars are not really scars, but they look like scars when seen with a microscope. They don't usually cause symptoms, but they are important because:
Doctors often recommend surgery to remove radial scars, but in some cases they can use imaging tests instead to watch for any concerning changes.
Other types of benign masses and other changes can also be found in the breast. Many of these are described on other Non-cancerous Breast Conditions pages.
Some types of benign breast changes that are not covered on those pages are listed below. None of these conditions raise breast cancer risk, but they may need to be biopsied or removed to know what they are and to be sure they don’t have any cancer cells in them.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
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Matrai C, D'Alfonso TM, Pharmer L, et al. Advocating nonsurgical management of patients with small, incidental radial scars at the time of needle core biopsy: A study of 77 cases. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2015;139:1137-1142.
Orr B, Kelley JL. Benign breast diseases: Evaluation and management. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2016;59(4):710-726.
Sabel MS. Overview of benign breast disease. UpToDate. 2021. Accessed at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-benign-breast-disease on November 3, 2021.
Last Revised: January 25, 2022
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