BREAST DISEASE

Once a woman finds a suspicious breast lump, her natural reaction is fear.But here are the facts: the majority of breast lumps are not cancerous.
Although all breast lumps need medical evaluation, you should take comfort in the fact that chances are that any breast lump you may discover is one of several types of harmless lumps that occur in breast tissue. As a rule, benign lumps are usually tender and are moveable, while cancerous lumps are usually painless and fixed or do not move freely.

Breast disease can be defined as a tumor, cyst, or infection found in the breast tissue.

Symptoms
The most common cause of breast lumps is fibrocystic breast disease. It is characterized by cysts and thickening of the milk glands. Symptoms include lumpiness in the breast and tenderness that becomes more pronounced just before the menstrual cycle. This condition typically affects women between the ages of thirty and fifty because this is when there is a higher incidence of hormonal fluctuations and imbalances. The primary imbalance is estrogen dominance, which seems to “feed” cysts or multiply their occurrence.

Medical diagnosis
There are four basic types of breast lumps:
• Lipoma—a benign, painless tumor made up of fatty tissue. Usually considered harmless, it has the potential to become malignant.
• Fibroadenoma—commonly found in women twenty years of age and older. It is usually a rubbery, firm, and painless mass commonly found on the upper portion of the breast.
• Cystosarcoma—a fast-growing benign tumor that grows in the connective tissue of the breast. In rare instances, it can become malignant.
• Carcinoma of the breast—can include a dark discharge from the nipple and a dimpled area of skin that can be seen directly over the lump. Malignant breast lumps are usually the size of a pea and are hard to the touch. In most cases, only one breast is affected at a time.