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5 Common Types of Benign Breast Problems

Although breast cancer is a serious concern for many women worldwide, it’s important to remember that not every breast problem that you or a loved one will encounter means cancer. 

Breast problems refer to any issues or abnormalities that occur in the breast tissue. These may include: 

  • Lumps
  • Pain
  • Nipple discharge
  • Changes in breast size or shape
  • Skin changes (i.e., redness or dimpling)

Many breast problems can be benign and not harmful; however, you should always contact your clinician if you notice any abnormalities. We believe, and we are sure you do, too, that it’s better to be safe!

Nevertheless, we’d like to take this time to discuss a few common breast problems that are typically benign and not a cause for concern.

Common Types of Breast Problems

Breast Pain

Breast pain (or a shooting pain in your breast area) is a common issue that many women experience at some point in their lives. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including 

  • Hormonal changes
  • Injury to chest area
  • Inflammation

If you’re experiencing breast pain, it’s important to pay attention to when it occurs, as well as any accompanying symptoms. For example, if the pain is accompanied by redness or swelling, it could be a sign of an infection, like Mastitis, another non-cancerous condition. 

If you’re experiencing breast pain that doesn’t go away or is getting worse, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out any serious underlying conditions.

Nippe Discharge

Nipple discharge is another common issue that many women experience. In most cases, nipple discharge is not a sign of breast cancer. Like breast pain, it can be caused by hormonal changes, infection, or injury. 

However, it may also be caused by stress, noncancerous cysts, or pregnancy. 

If you’re experiencing nipple discharge that is bloody, occurs in only one nipple, or happens without squeezing the area, you’ll want to contact your doctor to help diagnose the issue.

Breast Cysts

Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the breast tissue. They are a common issue that women can experience as they age. 

Simple cysts are usually benign and don’t require treatment. However, if you’re experiencing breast pain or discomfort, your doctor may recommend draining the cyst.

Note, however, that complex cysts, a lump with a thick outer wall or solid components, will need to be evaluated by your clinician right away. In fact, you may require a breast biopsy to check for any signs of cancer.

Learn more about breast cysts in our helpful guide.


Fibroadenomas are noncancerous breast tumors that are made up of glandular and connective breast tissue. They are usually smooth, firm, and easily movable, and can vary in size. They’re most commonly found in women in their 20s and 30s, but can occur at any age. 

While they are not cancerous, they can sometimes cause discomfort or pain, and may need to be removed if they grow or change in appearance.


Hyperplasia of the breast refers to an overgrowth of cells in the breast tissue. Though a benign condition, it can increase the risk of developing breast cancer in the future. There are two types of breast hyperplasia: 

  • Ductal hyperplasia, which affects the milk ducts
  • Lobular hyperplasia, which affects the milk-producing glands 

Hyperplasia of the breast is often detected during a routine mammogram or breast biopsy. Treatment may not be necessary, but close monitoring and follow-up appointments with a healthcare provider are recommended.

Mammograms Put Your Mind at Ease

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women, and early detection is key to successful treatment. 

Mammograms can help detect breast cancer before any symptoms are present, allowing for early intervention and a better chance of survival. Breast self-exams can also help detect any changes in the breast tissue, such as lumps or abnormalities, which can then be further evaluated by a healthcare provider. 

Stay Protective in Your Breast Health Journey

By being proactive about breast health and getting regular screenings, women can take control of their health and potentially avoid more serious complications down the line.

Remember, if you notice a breast problem, even a benign one, it’s best to closely monitor the area and talk to your doctor if you notice other accompanying symptoms or it doesn’t go away after one complete menstrual cycle

To schedule your annual mammogram, you can do so using our online form or calling us at (763) 398-6370.

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