The Common Medical Breast Issues You Should Be Aware Of

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Although mainly a female problem, many people struggle with a variety of breast issues in some form across their life. In many cases, these issues will be harmless and temporary, with some needing treatment as soon as possible. Within this article, you will read a variety of breast issues, detailing information about symptoms, and options available to you. At the end of the day, you should visit a doctor if you’re still unsure so that you can be sure of your diagnosis.

Breast Pain

The first major medical breast issue that you should be aware of, comes in the form of general breast pain. Usually, breast pain is common and will be caused due to hormonal changes, however, some women will experience breast pain every day. This could be linked with pain within the shoulders, neck, back, or even armpits.

This is why some women look into relieving this pain, through the use of supportive bras, or even wearing no bra at all. Diet and nutrition could also be a factor, with salt and fat being a leading issue for breast pain. However, it is also possible for coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages such as soda to be an issue. There are vitamins available, such as B6 and B1 that could also help.

Hormonal Changes

For women undergoing any hormonal changes, they could see major changes happen to their breasts. For example, it could cause swelling, lumpiness, or general tenderness. The most common time a woman will experience these levels will be during the menstrual cycle. That’s because the breast tissue will experience the effects.

All of these changes will happen during or just after a period. For women who take contraception pills, or other hormone replacement techniques, they could also see these changes happen.

Cysts

Cysts are one common type of breast lump that women will experience. They occur when fluid becomes trapped in the breast tissue, becoming common for women aged between 35 to 50. It is common for cysts to disappear with menopause, with women who are taking hormone replacement therapy also experiencing them.

The feel of a cyst will be soft or firm, with the potential of it being painful to touch. You may find more than one cyst that has grown at one time, but they are ultimately harmless. However, you must visit your doctor so that they can be examined and be ruled out as anything more malicious, such as cancer. If you do not want these cysts, then a doctor can drain the fluid that makes the lump using a fine needle.

Breast Abscess

A breast abscess is a benign lesion, also known as a mass, found within the breast tissue or under the breasts skin. It is mainly an issue because it is painful and filled with pus. If left unattended, it can get more problematic, due to a complication of mastitis, which is an infection of the tissue of the mammary gland.

The entire breast can become swollen and painful in some cases, otherwise, the infection could be contained to just one area of the breast. This could be the areola, which is the pigmented skin around the nipple, or the entire nipple itself. This infected area could become red or dark purple, due to the bruising around it.

It is more likely to see a breast abscess within women between the ages of 15-45. You can read here for more information on breast abscesses, from medical experts Ezra, who offer a range of services for screenings and treatment for a variety of breast issues.

Breast abscesses are mainly caused by lactating women, with lactational mastitis occurring in a small percentage of women. It’s not just women who will get breast abscesses, as anyone can get a variation of them. For example, anyone who is obese or smokes could also be at risk.

Fibroadenomas

This type of breast tissue can be more harmless than others within this article. They are typically harmless lumps filled with glandular and fibrous tissue. They will feel firm and rubbery at the touch, yet with a smooth texture. Whilst breast experts aren’t yet sure of the cause, they do know that they are common among women aged between 20 and 40.

The good news is that they are commonly painless, becoming tender right before a period is expected. It seems to be related to hormonal changes, as some fibroadenomas lumps can grow during pregnancy. Whilst most are harmless, you should still see your doctor or have a scan, as lumps without diagnosing can be anything.

Other Lumps

Aside from some of the lumps mentioned within this article, other lumps can appear on the breasts. For example, if you’ve had breast surgery in the past, or a breast injury in general, then you may have scar tissue that has now gone hard.

This could create a lump from the scar, that is harmless alone in itself as it’s a simple buildup of reimagined skin. If you’ve had surgery for cosmetic reasons, then be aware that if you’ve had silicone, then some of this could harden to create lumps. It’s also possible that the lump that a woman is feeling on her breast is imply her ribs.

Once again, as with all lumps, you should still speak to a doctor for clarity, so that you can get any potential issue diagnoses as soon as possible. That’s because there are several types of lumps that it could be, with some cancerous and some noncancerous ones, which could require treatment or could just be temporary.

Nipple Discharge

It is common to experience discharge from the nipple, which is why it is not a problem in most situations. However, in rare cases, nipple discharge can be a sign of cancer or potentially other diseases. If you are experiencing some form of nipple discharge, then you must speak to your doctor, so that tests can be arranged

Signs that you will need a test include experiencing a bloodstained or watery discharge, as well as only receiving discharge from one breast. Of course, if you are breastfeeding, then it is perfectly normal for there to be milk leaking from the nipples either in general or between feeding. 

It’s also normal for there to be milky discharges shortly after stopping breastfeeding. In most cases, this will slowly start to stop.

Inverted Or Extra Nipples

Whilst most nipples point outwards, some women can have nipples that are turned in, or inverted. Inverted nipples can develop from an early age, or after a woman has stopped breastfeeding, or pregnant in general. If you find that your nipple is turning in on itself, and it’s something that has never happened in the past, then you should have your doctor take a look, as it could be a sign of breast cancer.

In terms of extra nipples, some people of either gender can be born with extra nipples. This is not a sign of any breast issues or cancers, but extra nipples can develop the same issues as any nipple usually could. This is why some people choose to have these extra nipples removed with surgery, either for cosmetic reasons, or health.