What Are Breast Lesions—and Do You Need to Worry? banner

What Are Breast Lesions—and Do You Need to Worry?

By Elizabeth Millard

There can be several types of breast lesions, says Constance Chen, M.D., a plastic surgeon and breast reconstruction specialist in private practice in New York City. Here are the most common kinds of noncancerous lesions:

  • Cyst: A fluid-filled mass or sac-like pocket of tissue. The NCI notes that cysts may be painful just before a menstrual period and are more likely in premenopausal women and those taking menopausal hormone therapy.
  • Fat necrosis of the breast: This is a condition that causes round, firm, and usually painless lumps. These lesions may develop after an injury to the breast, including surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Fibroadenoma: These are benign breast tumors that often feel like hard, round lumps that move easily and are common in women under age 30. These lesions may get larger when estrogen levels increase, such as during pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy.
  • Fibrocystic breast changes: This is a condition that comes with multiple symptoms including cysts or lumps, says Dr. Bremner. You may also experience breast swelling, sensitive nipples, itching, breast discomfort, and nipple discharge.
  • Granular cell tumor: Also called Abrikossoff tumor, this is a rare type of soft tumor that causes a firm lump and can occur anywhere in the body, in addition to the breasts.
  • Hematoma: Usually caused by a broken blood vessel as a result of an injury, this is a pool of clotted blood under the skin of the breast that may cause a lesion and swelling, similar to a bruise.
  • Lipoma: This is a benign tumor made of fat cells and usually results in a painless, single, soft lesion.

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