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June 19, 2001

Complications

Question from Boise, Idaho, USA:

I had diabetes for over 30 years and had a needle biopsy done today on both breasts. The surgeon said I might have diabetic lobulitis. I need information on this condition.

Answer:

Through interacting with people like yourself, I too have learned about this condition and have had a chance to look into it further. It is a condition described in the literature in which women with diabetes get breast lumps. Of course, the problem is making sure it is not cancer. I am not sure why it develops. I don’t think people really know as it has not been extensively studied. However, I anticipate that breast tissue is responding to the environment of hyperglycemia with an inflammatory response

JTL

[Editor’s comment: Also see the following article at PubMed: Diabetic mastopathy. A clinicopathologic review .

The key issue is that if someone has this diagnosis, it’s non-cancerous, but it frequently recurs.

WWQ]