Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care diet self examination warning signs Underlying Cause calcifications duct ectasia fat necrosis fibroadenomas mastitis papillomas Anatomy

Benign Breast Cyst Underlying Cause

Benign Breast Cyst Calcifications

Breast calcifications are areas where calcium has collected inside the breast. They develop normally as the breast ages. Usually, they occur as a reaction to infection, injury and fibrocystic disease. Breast calcifications are rarely a sign of breast cancer.

Benign Breast Cyst Duct Ectasia

Duct ectasia occurs when a woman reaches menopause. The milk ducts behind the nipple normally swell during menopause. Occasionally, fluid builds up in the milk duct, causing a lump in the breast. When this occurs, the fluid may drain from the nipple.

Benign Breast Cyst Fat Necrosis

Fat necrosis may occur when fatty tissue in the breast is damaged or breaks down. This results in the formation of a lump in the breast. Usually, fat necrosis is caused by an injury to the breast. The skin around the lump may be bruised, red or dimpled. Fat necrosis is more common in women who have large breasts.

Benign Breast Cyst Fibroadenomas

Fibroadenomas form when cells at the end of the milk ducts continue to grow slowly. Fibroadenomas are a normal part of development and aging and the cells eventually stop growing. Fibroadenomas do not lead to cancer.

Benign Breast Cyst Mastitis

Mastitis is an infection of the breast that occurs when a women is breast-feeding. Bacteria from the surface of the skin, or bacteria from the infant's mouth, cause the infection. The bacteria start to grow in the mild ducts, which causes redness, swelling and pain.

Mastitis is rare in women who are not breast-feeding.

Benign Breast Cyst Papillomas

The areola is the red-brown skin that surrounds the nipple. A papilloma is an overgrowth of milk duct cells that form a lump under the areola. A papilloma may cause a clear or bloody fluid to leak from the nipple. Papillomas do not cause cancer.

Continue to Benign Breast Cyst Anatomy

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Benign Breast Cyst References
  1. Dehner LP, Hill DA, Deschryver K: Pathology of the breast in children, adolescents, and young adults. Semin Diagn Pathol 1999 Aug; 16(3): 235-47. [10490200]
  2. Greydanus DE, Parks DS, Farrell EG: Breast disorders in children and adolescents. Pediatr Clin North Am 1989 Jun; 36(3): 601-38. [2543947]
  3. Norlock FE: Benign breast pain in women: a practical approach to evaluation and treatment. J Am Med Womens Assoc 2002 Spring; 57(2): 85-90. [11991427]
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