The term chronic cystic mastitis, not accurate in the strict sense, is applied to a benign lesion of the breast which is thought by many to be precancerous in nature. It is neither inflammatory nor strictly neoplastic. Recent studies would seem to indicate that the changes in the breast in this disease are associated with disturbances in some of the glands of internal secretion.
Chronic cystic mastitis in its later clinical stages may be divided into two types: cystic disease characterized by the development of a number of cysts of appreciable size and adenosis1 characterized by proliferative changes resulting in the formation of many nodules in both breasts—so-called shotty breast. Study of a large series of cases reveals an indifferent stage of chronic cystic mastitis common to the early phase of both cystic disease and adenosis. This indifferent stage, often referred to clinically as painful breasts or mastodynia, is
LEWIS D, GESCHICKTER CF. ENDOCRINE THERAPY IN CHRONIC CYSTIC MASTITIS. JAMA. 1937;109(23):1894-1900. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780490032009