Family physicians should be familiar with the details of breast feeding and with the breast disorders that may occur during lactation. Such disorders range from relatively minor problems, such as sore nipples, milk stasis and mastitis, to more serious conditions, such as abscesses and neoplasms. Inflammatory changes are easily treated with frequent breast emptying; infectious processes require antibiotics. Surgical intervention may be needed for some conditions. Pregnancy or lactation should not delay or alter the diagnosis and treatment of suspected breast carcinoma.