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Benign Breast Lumps

How Are Benign Breast Conditions Treated?

Fibrocystic breast changes do not require treatment, but your doctor may recommend therapies to help relieve monthly tenderness.

Simple cysts can be treated through fine needle aspiration, which can often be done during the evaluation. This is a nonsurgical form of breast biopsy in which a small needle is used to withdraw a sample of cells from the breast lump. If the lump is a cyst, removing the fluid will cause the cyst to collapse. Cysts can also go away on their own, so your doctor may choose to wait before performing a procedure.

Fibroadenomas and intraductal papillomas can be removed surgically.

Mastitis can be treated with hot compresses or by taking hot showers and letting the warm water flow over the breasts. Sometimes an antibiotic will be prescribed.

How Do I Maintain My Breast Health?

  • Annual screening mammography starting at age 40 or 50. Breast cancer experts don't agree when women need to start getting mammograms, so discuss it with your doctor.
  • Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age. Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms. Breast MRI screening, in addition to mammogram, is used only in high risk cases, such as where there's a lifetime risk of breast cancer greater than 20% Discuss the best approach with your doctor.
  • Your health care provider should perform an annual clinical breast exam starting at age 20.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Angela Jain on August 01, 2014
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