Benign breast conditions also called benign breast diseases are noncancerous disorders of the breast. They can occur in both women and men. There are many types of benign breast conditions. Your health care provider may use the term fibrocystic change to describe a range of benign breast conditions. Learn about benign breast conditions in men.
Benign Breast Lumps
Breast Lumps: Cancerous vs. Non-Cancerous
Non-cancerous and cancerous breast lumps can be very different from each other when it comes to how they feel during a breast exam and what they look like in imaging tests. However, a number of benign breast changes mimic breast cancer , so it sometimes takes further testing to know for sure what's going on in your breast. How a breast mass feels can give a doctor a fairly good idea whether a lump is a breast cancer tumor or a benign mass. Cancerous masses in the breast are often very firm, like a rock or a carrot, and have an irregular shape and size. They are often fixed—they feel like they are attached to the skin or nearby tissue so that you can't move them around by pushing on them—but can be mobile.
Benign and Malignant Breast Lumps
During a breast self-exam , you may notice lumps or a change in the texture of your breast. While this can make you worry, it's important to understand that most breast lumps are not cancerous. To complicate matters, many benign breast changes can mimic breast cancer. Breast lumps can vary in size, rate of growth, and symptoms.
These changes are sometimes called fibrocystic changes , and used to be called fibrocystic disease. Areas of fibrosis feel rubbery, firm, or hard to the touch. They are often felt as a round, movable lump, which might also be tender to the touch. Cysts begin when fluid starts to build up inside the breast glands. These can be felt easily and can be as large as 1 or 2 inches across.