This article illustrates the most common benign and malignant lesions in the breast, and is intended for the biologist working in the area of breast cancer and breast biology, not for the practicing pathologist. The atlas covers benign proliferative lesions, atypical lesions, variants of in situ cancer, the main types of invasive cancers, spindle cell lesions, and examples of vascular and lymphatic spread. Some entities are included to illustrate a point of particular relevance to the biology and histogenesis of the lesions. Some controversial diagnostic areas are considered, along with the relative risk of developing breast cancer associated with some of the proliferative lesions. The content of this atlas should be read in conjunction with the companion article by Howard and Gusterson in this issue. Their article covers the cellular origin of epithelial and stromal tumors and presents a description of some of the common benign proliferative lesions that are considered to be components of the normal spectrum of changes seen at postmortem or in biopsies.