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Adenosis occurs when some of the lobules (milk-producing sacs) grow larger and contain more glands than usual. If the enlarged lobules also contain scar-like fibrous tissue, this is called sclerosing adenosis.

Adenosis may cause a lump that you or your doctor can feel. It also may show up on a mammogram as a distorted area, a mass, or calcifications, the small white calcium deposits that are sometimes associated with an underlying breast cancer. A biopsy is needed to tell the difference between adenosis and cancer. With a true adenosis, any increase in breast cancer risk appears to be slight.

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