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Common Benign Breast Changes

Breast health is an ever-present concern among women. Even those who aren't yet getting regular mammograms are encouraged to complete regular self breast exams monthly, and girls learn from an early age to know their breasts and to recognize changes.

Since breast cancer is the most well-known reason for breast changes, many women worry as a matter of course when they discover a lump or knot. While it is important to schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN as soon as you recognize changes in your breast tissue, you don't have to spend the time between your discovery and your appointment in a panic. There are a number of non-cancerous conditions that can cause your breasts to change, as well.

Fibrocystic breasts

Sometimes also called fibrocystic disease or disorder, fibrocystic breast changes are often widespread throughout the breasts and variable in nature. Usually these changes can be connected to the menstrual cycle as well as certain dietary choices.

Rather than appearing as a solitary lump, fibrocystic disease or disorder causes the entire breast tissue to change, so women with this condition may feel lumpiness throughout the breasts. The breasts themselves may become swollen and tender, and often this occurs at certain points in the menstrual cycle.

Much more scientific research needs to be done on the cause of fibrocystic breasts, but anecdotally, many women with this condition find that dietary changes can help alleviate the symptoms. Caffeine is the most frequently blamed culprit for fibrocystic breast changes, meaning many women experience relief after cutting down on their caffeine intake.

Solitary Benign Breast Lumps

While it's true that a solitary lump in the breast may be a sign of breast cancer, these lumps can also be benign and caused by more mundane issues.

A simple cyst, for example, can occur anywhere in the body, including the breast tissue. These lumps are filled with fluid. They may become larger or more tender during menstruation. Medically speaking, a simple cyst in the breast is not a cause for concern, as these benign formations do not develop into cancer. Benign simple cysts in the breast are usually diagnosed through ultrasound, possibly followed by a needle biopsy to confirm that the cyst is filled with fluid and has no solid tissue.

Benign, Fibrous Breast Tumors

All fluid-filled breast lumps are benign, but some fibrous lumps may also be harmless. Fibroadenomas fit this description, and frequently occur due to an overabundance of milk-producing glands. This type of benign lump is usually painless, and can be either stationary or mobile.

Because they are fibrous in nature, fibroadenomas typically require a biopsy for diagnosis. Once they are confirmed to be benign, however, most usually require no further treatment.

An intraductal papilloma is another type of benign, fibrous growth that occurs in the breasts, usually near the nipple. These growths occur in the milk ducts, and may be accompanied by nipple discharge that is clear or sometimes bloody.

Since, like fibroadenomas, intraductal papillomas are benign, your doctor will likely recommend no further treatment once cancer has been ruled out. If the papillomas are painful or too bothersome, though, they can be surgically removed.

Always Call Your OB/GYN

The fact that there are multiple benign breast changes does not negate the need to call your OB/GYN as soon as you notice a lump or other transformation in your breast tissue. Breast cancer remains a serious and potentially fatal diagnosis, and delaying treatment could adversely affect your prognosis.

If you've discovered changes in your breast tissue, or if you need a primer on how to perform a proper self breast exam, contact the experienced staff at Gainesville's All About Women.

Contact us
‹ All About Women OB/GYN Knowledge Center
6440 W Newberry Road, Suite 111
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 331-3332
Lake City
4447 NW American Lane, Suite 102
Lake City, FL 32055
(386) 754-1744

Gainesville and Lake City OB/GYN Care

OB/GYN doctors at All About Women, Obstetrics & Gynecology offer personalized, technologically advanced obstetrics and gynecology services from Board Certified OB/GYB physicians. Besides expert women's healthcare, permanent birth control and prenatal care, OB/GYN doctors also offers advanced hysterectomy surgery in and around the Gainesville area.

Women's Health Care in Alachua & Columbia Counties

With offices in Gainesville and Lake City, Florida, All About Women, M.D. provides expert OB/GYN services covering the entire range of women's healthcare needs. Our OB/GYN physicians and nurse midwives provide expert care during pregnancy as well as state of the art in-office treatments for gynecologic disorders including Novasure endometrial ablation to treat/stop heavy menstrual bleeding.

Personalized & Expert Prenatal Care

Gainesville obstetricians at All About Women, M.D. help ensure pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible by offering the best prenatal care available. And for those having difficulty getting pregnant, AAW obstetricians and gynecologists offer couples the best infertility help and treatment available.

Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery: daVinci Surgical System

Clinic founder Dr. Anthony Agrios, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist also specializes in the daVinci Robotic surgery system, a minimally invasive option commonly used for a hysterectomy and other procedures. Instead of creating several small incisions like traditional surgical methods, OB/GYN surgeons simply open one incision with the daVinci system to complete the procedure. Not only do patients experience less pain and blood loss, they recover and get back to normal much faster.

Pregnancy & Prenatal Care: Creative Pregnancy Announcement : Fruits for Pregnant Women

OB/GYN Tips: Choosing an OB/GYN : Robotic Hysterectomy

Infertility & Reproduction Health: Infertility Treatment : Permanent Birth Control

Women's Health: Preventive Care : Well Women Care : Mammogram Screenings : Abnormal Periods

Gainesville Maternity Care


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All About Women
Gainesville and Lake City, Florida Obstetrics & Gynecology

Offices conveniently located in the heart of North Florida (Alachua County & Columbia County). Serving women of all ages and backgrounds
in and around Ocala, Williston, Chiefland, Perry, Live Oak, Lake City, Starke, Palatka and Gainesville.