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Benign and Less Common Conditions of the Breast

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Benign (Noncancerous) Breast Conditions

Experts at the Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Program also diagnose and treat a variety of benign conditions that affect the breast, including:



  • An abscess, or collection of puss, can sometimes form in conjunction with mastitis (an infection).
  • In addition to prescribing antibiotics to treat the mastitis, surgeons at the Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Program may surgically remove the abscess.

Nipple discharge

  • Nipple discharge that is clear, green, or milky is unlikely to be cancerous.
  • If the discharge is red or red-brown, suggesting that it contains blood, it might be caused by cancer. But, it's more likely caused by an injury, infection, or benign tumor.
  • The fluid may be collected and reviewed under a microscope to see if any cancer cells are present.


  • Fibroadadenomas are benign lumps that appear in the breast.
  • They are distinguishable from cancerous lumps because they easily move around the breast and have clearly defined edges.

Less Common Breast Conditions

Other less common breast conditions we treat include:

Phyllodes tumors

  • Phyllodes tumors are large, fast-growing tumors that form in the connective tissues of the breast.