90% of Breast Conditions Are NOT Cancer

90% of Breast Health problems are benign – not Cancer.

Abnormalities may include:


  • They are NOT related to breast cancer.
  • About 60% of women will have at least one cyst during their lifetime.
  • Cysts are collections of fluids in breast tissue.
  • They are usually small and do not cause problems, but may increase in size, form a lump, or cause pain or tenderness.
  • Cysts occur most commonly between the ages of 35 and 50 years and especially between 42 and 48 years.
  • They are uncommon after menopause except in women on Hormone Replacement Therapy.


  • Hormonal thickening is NOT related to the development of breast cancer.
  • This can occur at any age during the reproductive years and may come and go.
  • It is a response to hormone changes and is often related to pre-menopausal breast tenderness.
  • It usually disappears naturally after menopause. Further diagnosis can be made with a combination of breast examination, mammography, ultrasound and needle biopsy.
  • No treatment is necessary unless there is pain.


  • They are not related to breast cancer but do need to be accurately diagnosed.
  • This can usually be done by needle biopsy.
  • These are very common nodules in the breast and are commonly benign.
  • They are common in young women (under 25) but can occur at any age.
  • They appear as oval, tender masses and may not be able to be felt as lumps.
  • Many women have more than one.
  • Diagnosis is usually made by ultrasound, needle biopsy and mammography (in older women).
  • They may be removed by surgery but this is not essential.


  • Most nipple discharges are harmless – particularly if the discharge comes from more than one duct and from both nipples.
  • If the discharge is bloodstained or watery it is important to see your Doctor.
  • These discharges are due to the production of fluid by normal breast cells in response to hormones.