Nodular adenosis is a benign (i.e., non-cancerous) condition of the breast in which extra tissue develops within the breast lobules, the small portions of the glands that can produce milk.
In women with nodular adenosis, multiple small, firm, tender lumps (called nodules) and, sometimes, small cysts (i.e., sacs filled with fluid or semi-solid material) form in the breast. Women with nodular adenosis may experience recurring pain that tends to be linked to the menstrual cycle.
In most cases, nodular adenosis is detected during routine mammograms or following breast surgery. Usually, a biopsy (i.e., examination of a sample of tissue under the microscope) is required to confirm the diagnosis, because the condition is otherwise difficult to distinguish from breast cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with nodular adenosis, it is important to be aware of any future changes or developments in your breasts. As with all matters of the breasts, vigilant attention is key.