Throughout different periods in her life, most commonly during menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause, a woman may experience changes or problems with her breasts. These changes naturally occur in response to variations in estrogen and progesterone levels. Women who use hormonal contraception such as birth control pills or hormone therapy may also experience changes or problems in their breasts.
While some symptoms can be attributed to natural changes in a woman’s body, other symptoms may be tied to more serious problems. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the most common breast problems experienced by women, how to detect them and how they are treated.
Fibrocystic Breast Changes in Turnersville:
During childbearing years and after menopause, some women may experience breast tenderness, lumpiness or swelling known as fibrocystic breast changes.
Treatment: There is no treatment for fibrocystic breast changes, but symptoms can be alleviated by taking an OTC anti-inflammatory as well as applying ice or heat to the breast.
Breast Cysts in NJ:
Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs that vary in size and firmness and most commonly develop in women ages 25-50.
Treatment: Breast cysts are only treated if they are large and painful. In these cases, the fluid may be drained through a procedure called fine need aspiration, or the cyst is surgically removed.
Fibroadenomas in Voorhees:
Fibroadenomas are painless lumps that develop in the breasts of young women.
Treatment: In most cases of fibroadenomas no treatment is required, but women can choose to have these lumps removed through a procedure called a lumpectomy.
Mastitis in New Jersey:
Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that most commonly occurs in women who are breastfeeding. Mastitis develops as a result of a milk duct becoming clogged and not draining properly. Symptoms include breast pain, swelling, appearance of red streaks and hotness to the touch.
Treatment: Treatment options include placing a warm, wet towel on your breasts for 15-20 minutes several times a day, taking an antibiotic or emptying your breasts of milk.
All of the above-mentioned breast problems can be detected as a result of associated symptoms, by discovery while performing a breast self-exam, or during the annual mammography exam. Beginning at 20 years of age, all women should perform a breast self-exam on a monthly basis. If you detect any abnormalities such as a change in your breasts’ appearance or the discovery of a mass or lump, we recommend that you schedule a follow-up examination immediately. Do not panic; the abnormality may very well be one of the above-mentioned breast problems, which are non-life threatening. To be certain, however, you should seek the attention of a healthcare professional who will determine the course of action and whether further examination is required. Here at Women’s Health Associates, we are committed to providing all of our patients with the highest quality of gynecological care, in a comfortable and compassionate environment. Contact us to schedule an appointment at our Voorhees or Turnersville office.