Breasts are a natural part of being a woman! As lovely as they are, they can sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth. There are many risks and dangers concerning breast owners. When it comes to your health, it’s important to take a proactive and involved approach. All breasts are different and breast abnormalities are more common than you may think.
Some abnormalities are benign and a staple of a healthy breast, whereas some are more problematic. If gone unnoticed, these abnormalities can result in disaster so it’s important to spot them on time. With great breast comes great responsibility so knowing the early signs can help save a life! To help you stay informed on your breast health, here are some common breast abnormalities that every woman needs to know about.
Know what’s normal for you
First things first, before you’re able to identify any changes with your breasts, you need to familiarize yourself with them. Get to know the size, shape, and feel of your breasts before jumping to conclusions. From collarbone to armpit, familiarize yourself with your breasts by using the pads of your fingers to massage and inspect. There’s no right or wrong way to examine your breasts, just make sure to be gentle and thorough.
Fibroadenoma is the first common breast abnormality that needs to be on your radar. Fibroadenomas are solid, noncancerous (benign) lumps found in the breast. These non-threatening tumors are smooth and firm to the touch and usually form in women in their late teens to early twenties. These lumps can be easily identified by self-examination and removed with Cryoablation. Once the tumor is found with ultrasound, this treatment uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the tumor tissue, killing the fibroadenoma. It’s always distressing to find a lump in your breasts, but thankfully, in this case, the lump is slightly less dangerous.
Cyclical breast pain
Another common abnormality is cyclical breast pain and is more common than you think. Cyclical breast pain is a pain experienced by women usually during ovulation and may last until menstruation. The pain can range from slight to severe, localized to one part of the breast, or spread over the whole underarm. Many women report various degrees of pain in usually one breast, so it’s important to know what’s normal for you. There is no specific treatment to deal with the pain, but pain killers, topical creams, or a supporting and well-fitting bra are encouraged.
Breast cysts are common, and unlike fibroadenomas, they can, unfortunately, be quite painful. These cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form in the breasts generally right before the menstrual period. This hard or soft lump can appear overnight and become more tender as they grow, which can be a source of discomfort and pain. The good thing about breast cysts is that they are non-cancerous, as they are caused by a blocked breast gland. Like with cyclical breast pain, there is no remedy for breast cysts, and most will disappear with no treatment necessary.
Fibrocystic breast changes
Fibrocystic breast changes are another common breast anomaly that can lead to some of the other abnormalities on this list. These changes may cause breasts to feel lumpy, tender, swollen due to the formation of cysts or scar-like fibrous tissue. Fibrocystic breasts contain tissue that can feel bumpy or rope-like in texture. These symptoms may worsen towards the beginning of the menstrual period or during pregnancy. The tenderness can make it difficult for a woman to examine her breasts for lumps, which is a problem.
The last form of breast abnormalities on this list is the different types of nipple discharges. The discharge is any kind of fluid that freely seeps out of the nipple, or has to be squeezed out. It is common during reproductive years even outside of pregnancy and can be a sign of normal or abnormal breast function. The thing to pay attention to with nipple discharge is fluid color, smell, and frequency. Nipple discharge can be a sign of anything from an infection to breast cancer, so be sure to pay close attention and speak to your doctor.
Breast health can be frightening and scary, but it is a necessary road to go down if you want to have a healthy chest. The important thing to remember is to start with getting to know your breasts first. Familiarity is key if you want to be able to identify any abnormalities.
Be on the lookout for lumps and bumps in the breasts and pay close attention to their size, texture, and general appearance. Whether it’s cysts, tumors, discharge, or pain, early diagnosis is essential. As soon as you notice any of the above-mentioned abnormalities, be sure to book an appointment with your doctor. Happy examining and stay safe!