The breast can be affected by other benign breast conditions.
Radial scars are star-shaped lesions (abnormal area of tissue) made up of gland and supportive tissue fibres in the breast. They are not really scars, but they look like scars when examined under a microscope. Radial scars may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer because they are made up of cells that multiply at a faster than normal rate (proliferative).
- They are often found during mammography or when breast tissue that has been removed is examined under a microscope.
- Most radial scars are very small (less than 10 mm) and cannot be felt in the breast.
- Radial scars that are larger than 1 cm may be called complex sclerosing lesions.
- Radial scars are often removed by surgery because they look like an invasive breast cancer on a mammogram.
Fat necrosis occurs when fatty tissue of the breast is damaged or injured and replaced by scar tissue. Fat necrosis does not increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
- Fat necrosis is more common in women with very large breasts.
- The most common causes of injury to the breast are surgery or radiation therapy.
- Seat belt injury or blows to the chest may also cause fat necrosis.
- It is usually found during mammography or ultrasound.
- Biopsy may be done to confirm the diagnosis:
- Most fat necrosis areas disappear without treatment.
- Surgery may be offered if:
- the biopsy did not confirm the diagnosis of fat necrosis
- the area grows or begins to cause symptoms
Adenosis is a benign breast condition in which the lobules of the breast become enlarged due to the presence of more than the normal number of milk glands. Adenosis does not increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
When the enlarged lobules are surrounded by scar-like tissue, it is called sclerosing adenosis. Women with sclerosing adenosis of the breast have a slightly greater risk of developing breast cancer.
- Adenosis is usually found during a mammogram.
- In some cases, adenosis can be felt during a clinical breast exam if there is a group of enlarged lobules close together.
- Core needle biopsy may be done to confirm the diagnosis and rule out the presence of cancer.
- Adenosis is a benign condition and treatment is usually not necessary.
- Women with sclerosing adenosis should speak to their doctor about early detection and screening for breast cancer.