Breast cancer

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Non-cancerous conditions of the breast

A non-cancerous (benign) condition of the breast is a change to breast cells, but it is not cancer. Non-cancerous conditions do not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body and are not usually life-threatening.

The most common non-cancerous conditions of the breast are:

  • atypical hyperplasia
  • breast pain (called mastalgia)
  • breast cysts
  • fibrocystic breasts
  • nipple discharge

Other non-cancerous conditions that affect the breast include:

  • adenosis
  • breast infection (called mastitis)
  • fat necrosis
  • gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men)
  • mammary duct ectasia
  • radial scars

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Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

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