Benign Conditions

Nine out of 10 women will have a benign breast condition — a breast abnormality that is not a breast cancer. Benign breast conditions are caused by changes in the glandular or connective tissue of the breast. Benign breast conditions are usually not life-threatening. Although rarely, some benign conditions are associated with a later risk of developing breast cancer or can indicate underlying breast cancer.

Breast/nipple pain

Lump or swelling

  • The shape or size of the breast
  • Thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
  • A lump in or near the breast or in the underarm area
  • Fibrocystic breast condition (non cancerous breast change commonly seen in women prior to menopause)
  • Breast cysts

Skin changes

  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Nipple or retraction (turning inward)
  • Skin of the breast, nipple, or areola (dark area surrounding the nipple), looks or feels (for example, warm, swollen, red, or scaly)

Nipple discharge other than breast milk