Benign breast disease

Int J Clin Pract. 2001 Sep;55(7):461-4.


Benign breast disorders (BBD), classified by the ANDI system (aberrations of normal development and involution), constitute the major workload in breast clinics. Breast pain (mastalgia) is classified as cyclical, and non-cyclical extramammary causes such as ribircage pain have to be identified. Most patients need reassurance alone but those with moderate/severe pain present for > 6 months may need treatment: randomised trials have shown danazol, bromocriptine and tamoxifen to be effective. Fibroadenoma is the commonest benign solid lump in women aged 15-30 years. The diagnosis must be confirmed by triple assessment. Cysts occur usually in women of middle to late reproductive life. After ultrasound has confirmed the lump as cystic, it can be aspirated. Nipple discharge should be tested for the presence of haemoglobin (Hb). Those with HB+ discharge may require microdochectomy for treatment and diagnosis, common causes being duct papilloma and duct ectasia. Breast abscesses may occur during lactation or in women with duct ectasia and are treated by incision or aspiration together with antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Breast Diseases / therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Cysts / diagnosis
  • Cysts / therapy
  • Female
  • Fibroadenoma / diagnosis
  • Gynecomastia / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Infections / diagnosis
  • Infections / therapy
  • Male
  • Mastectomy / methods
  • Mastitis / diagnosis
  • Mastitis / therapy
  • Nipples / metabolism
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Phyllodes Tumor / diagnosis
  • Phyllodes Tumor / surgery