Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Adenosis is a benign (non-cancerous) breast condition in which the lobules (milk-producing glands) are enlarged, and there are more glands than usual. Adenosis is often found in biopsy samples of women who have fibrocystic changes in their breasts.
There are many other names for this condition, including aggregate adenosis, tumoral adenosis, or adenosis tumor. Even though some of these terms contain the term tumor, adenosis is not breast cancer.
Sclerosing adenosis is a special type of adenosis in which the enlarged lobules are distorted by scar-like tissue. This type may cause breast pain.
If many enlarged lobules are close to one another, they may be large enough to be felt as a breast lump. In cases like this, a breast exam may not be enough to tell if the lump is adenosis or something else (such as breast cancer).
Calcifications (mineral deposits) can form in adenosis (including sclerosing adenosis), as well as in breast cancers. These can show up on mammograms, which can make it hard to tell these conditions apart.
Because of these uncertainties, a breast biopsy is usually needed to know if the breast change is caused by adenosis or cancer. (In a biopsy, small pieces of breast tissue are removed and checked under a microscope.)
Adenosis doesn't usually need to be treated, unless it's causing bothersome symptoms.
Most types of adenosis are not thought to increase breast cancer risk, although some studies have found that women with sclerosing adenosis have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Collins LC, Schnitt SJ. Chapter 9: Pathology of benign breast disorders. In: Harris JR, Lippman ME, Morrow M, Osborne CK, eds. Diseases of the Breast. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014.
Guray M, Sahin AA. Benign breast diseases: Classification, diagnosis, and management. Oncologist. 2006;11;435-449.
Orr B, Kelley JL. Benign breast diseases: Evaluation and management. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2016;59(4):710-726.
Sabel MS. Overview of benign breast disease. UpToDate. 2021. Accessed at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-benign-breast-disease on October 28, 2021.
Santen RJ, Mansel R. Benign breast disorders. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:275-285.
Visscher DW, Nassar A, Degnim AC, et al. Sclerosing adenosis and risk of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014;144:205-212.
Last Revised: January 25, 2022