4 Common Benign Breast Conditions that Affect Women

Women’s breasts are always going through changes due to the varying levels of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) especially during menstrual periods, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause.

Hormones can also affect the amount of fluid in your breasts.

Women who are using oral contraceptive pills or hormone therapy may notice a few changes in their breasts. Often, they may feel that their breasts are tender or painful to the touch.

Most breast changes are diagnosed as benign conditions that often do not need treatment.

However, if some changes in your breasts are bothering you, it would be best to visit an obstetrician/gynecologist right away.

Seasoned and renowned specialists likeDr (Mrs) Annapoorna Venkat can provide insights into any of your concerns and recommend effective treatments when the need calls for it.

What is a breast tissue made up of?

Women’s breasts are made up of fatty and glandular tissues that are responsible for the production of milk. The size of the breasts often depends on the amount of fat they contain. Furthermore, each breast is organized into 15 to 20 sections. These sections are called lobes.

What are the most common benign breast problems?

Benign is another term for noncancerous.

It means the condition is not life-threatening.

Below are 4 of the most common benign breast conditions common among women:

  1. Fibroadenomas

These are solid lumps that are commonly found in women under the age of 30. Fibroadenomas usually do not cause any discomfort or pain.

Usually, they do not necessarily have to be removed. However, this would depend on your family history, symptoms, and personal concerns.

  1. Breast cysts

These are small fluid-filled sacs inside your breasts. Breast cysts can occur in one or both breasts and can be of different sizes. Some cysts can feel like a soft grape while others can feel firm.

You will most likely notice that these cysts get bigger when you’re about to have your menstrual cycle.

Cysts commonly affect women between the ages of 25 and 50. In most cases however, these cysts disappear after menopause.

Often, breast cysts do not require any treatments. However, if they’re causing you discomfort, your healthcare provider will most likely recommend fine-needle aspiration. This is a procedure where fluids are removed from the cyst using a fine needle. The cysts can also be removed surgically.

  1. Mastitis

This is an infection of the breast tissues that causes pain, redness, and swelling. It can also cause flu-like symptoms like chills, fever, and fatigue.

Mastitis often occurs in women who are breastfeeding. Most doctors refer to the condition as puerperal mastitis or lactation mastitis.

It is called a periductal mastitis if the infection is unrelated to breastfeeding.

The treatment of mastitis varies depending on the type of infection you have.

Self-help measures such as avoiding tight-fitting clothing, taking over-the-counter painkillers, getting enough rest, and applying warm compress to the affected breast usually relieves the symptoms of mastitis.

In some cases, your doctor would also recommend taking antibiotics.

  1. Fibrocystic breast changes

These are the changes that make the breasts tender, swollen, and lumpy. Fibrocystic breast changes usually occur during the childbearing years or after menopause. It is also common among women who are under hormone therapy.

There are no treatments available for this condition. However, there are a few measures you can take to alleviate the symptoms such as wearing a bra that fits well, taking over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or mefenamic acid, and applying cold or hot compress to the affected area.

If you find any unusual changes in your breasts, it is understandable that you would be concerned.

While the condition might not always be life-threatening, a visit to the gynecologist should still be in order just to be sure.

Fortunately, a competent and seasonedobstetrician and gynecologist like Dr (Mrs) Annapoorna Venkat can easily give you answers to any of your queries and diagnose and treat conditions when necessary.

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