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April 5, 2003

Other Illnesses

Question from Saugerties, New York, USA:

My granddaughter, who has type 1 diabetes, has a hard lump underneath her nipple. She is going to her doctor who is aware of this condition. Is the lump in my granddaughter's breast related to her diabetes?


I’m not aware of any relationship between a hard lump of the breast and type 1 diabetes.


[Editor’s comment: went to PubMed, and found the following article: Diabetic mastopathy. A clinicopathologic review by Ely KA, Tse G, Simpson JF, Clarfeld R, and Page DL, in Am J Clin Pathol 2000 Apr;113(4):541-5. It explains the situation well:

Diabetic mastopathy, an uncommon form of lymphocytic mastitis and stromal fibrosis, typically occurs in longstanding type 1 diabetes. Nineteen cases meeting predetermined histopathologic criteria for diabetic mastopathy were correlated as to clinical history and disease recurrence. Physical examination revealed palpable discrete masses or diffuse nodularity, both predominantly in the subareolar region… We found diabetic mastopathy in men and women, as a solitary mass or bilateral disease, and recurrence in either breast, sometimes multiple…

The key issue is that this disorder occurs with longstanding diabetes.