Benign Breast Conditions

While they are not cancerous, although some benign conditions may increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Most breast changes are benign, although investigation is necessary to determine a diagnosis.

Types of benign breast condition

  • Breast exam – at home and with doctor.
  • Mammogram – This is an X-ray of the breast, commonly used to screen for breast cancer and other breast conditions. Government screening programs (like BreastScreen) provide free mammograms to women between 40 and 74 years. Both your GP and specialist can provide you with a referral should you need an investigation of a specific concern
  • Breast ultrasound – These use sound waves to produce images of structures deep within body. They can determine whether a lump is a solid mass or a cyst. Both your GP or specialist can provide you with a referral to have an ultrasound arranged.
  • Breast MRI – These use magnetic waves to create internal images of breast. To be eligible for a Medicare rebate for a breast MRI, certain clinical conditions must be met (for example, high risk families and planing for surgery) and a specialist referral will be required
  • Biopsy – Biopsies are required to make a definitive condition diagnosis of a breast condition. A FNA or a core biopsy is conducted using a needle to remove a sample of breast tissue, which can be sent to a laboratory for testing. This may be conducted under guidance by an ultrasound (ultrasound-guided core biopsy) or using computerised mammographic pictures (stereotactic core biopsy). Breast biopsies will often incur out of pocket costs.
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