Diabetic mastopathy is the development of a non-cancerous fibrous mass in the breast tissue. This disease affects up to 13% of women with type 1 diabetes who have not yet undergone menopause. Diabetic mastopathy typically develops in those with a long history of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes has a stronger association with diabetic mastopathy, however those affected by type 2 diabetes who are taking insulin may also develop diabetic mastopathy. Other risk factors are the presence of neuropathy and retinopathy, or disease of nerves and eyes, respectively.
The main symptom of diabetic mastopathy is the presence of a mass in the breast. The masses that develop in diabetic mastopathy are hard, irregular, painless, move around easily, and can range in size. Often, women will develop multiple masses in both breasts that are not symmetric. Diabetic mastopathy can be diagnosed by finding dense tissue during mammography or other imaging techniques. A biopsy, or tissue sample, is needed to confirm that the mass is not malignant, or cancerous. This disease is most common in women from age 32 to 62, but can also be present in men with diabetes.
Treatment options can include surgical removal of the masses, but in many cases the fibrous masses will return. Contact your doctor or gynecologist if you notice the development of a lump in your mass. Signs of diabetic mastopathy are very similar to breast cancer, so a biopsy is important to distinguish these diseases. Contact your doctor or gynecologist about the most current treatment options. Support groups are good sources for more information and resources.