When most people think of breast health, the first thing that comes to mind is breast cancer. However, while breast cancer is a major risk to breast health and important for women to take seriously, there are many other non-cancerous conditions that can also impact the breasts. These benign breast conditions may mimic breast cancer symptoms, so it’s important to always report changes in breast health to your doctor, who may send you to a hospital for diagnostic imaging tests. Here are the facts you need to know about benign breast conditions and how they can affect your health.
What Are Some Common Benign Breast Conditions?
There are many non-cancerous conditions that can affect your breasts. Some of the most common include cysts, hyperplasia (cell overgrowth), fibroadenomas (benign tumors), and intraductal papillomas (growths in the milk ducts). There are other conditions as well, most of which involve growths in a region of the breast. Some of these conditions can be difficult to distinguish from cancer on a mammogram, which is why your doctor may order a biopsy if he or she finds any signs of these changes in your breasts.
What Are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of benign breast conditions vary. Many benign conditions cause a lump that may or may not be painful. Conditions that impact the milk ducts may cause the nipples to leak. Because these symptoms can also indicate breast cancer, it is essential that you report them to your doctor and get a definitive diagnosis.
Do Benign Breast Conditions Require Treatment?
In some cases, benign breast conditions that aren’t causing any discomfort can be left untreated. In other cases, your doctor may wish to remove the associated lump or blockage, even if it isn’t causing any pain. Most benign breast conditions don’t increase your risk of developing cancer, but a few, such as hyperplasia, can. Discuss your breast cancer risk factors and strategies for monitoring your breast health with your doctor.
At Englewood Community Hospital, our Women’s Center provides breast cancer screenings and can arrange follow-up care as needed. Our full-service hospital offers a range of services, including emergency care, wound care, and cardiac care. To learn more about our Englewood, FL hospital, please call (888) 658-1598.