To avoid fibrocystic changes in your breast tissue, avoid excessive fat and caffeine in your diet.
Most cases of breast cancer cannot be prevented. However, early detection and prompt treatment are important. All women should receive routine breast exams from a doctor and routine mammograms, as recommended.
All women over the age of 40 should also perform breast self-exams every month, preferably at the end of their menstrual period when the breasts are less tender and less swollen. Women who are breastfeeding should examine their breasts after completing a feeding.
In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKena WG, eds. Clinical Oncology . 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 95
Whitman GJ. Ultrasound-guided breast biopsies. Ultrasound Clin. Dec 2006; 1(4); 603-615.
A breast lump is a swelling, protuberance, or lump in the breast.
Normal breast tissue is present in both males and females of all ages. This tissue responds to hormonal changes and, therefore, certain lumps can come and go.
Breast lumps may appear at all ages:
Infants may have breast lumps related to estrogen from the mother. The lump generally goes away on its own as the estrogen clears from the baby's body. It can happen to boys and girls.
Young girls often develop "breast buds" that appear just before the beginning of puberty. These bumps may be tender. They are common around age 9, but may happen as early as age 6.
Teenage boys may develop breast enlargement and lumps because of hormonal changes in mid-puberty. Although this may distress the teen, the lumps or enlargement generally go away on their own over a period of months.
Breast lumps in an adult woman raise concer...
Every doctor has patients that he or she has treated over a lifetime that can be recalled to memory. Often, it is because the circumstances of their care were particularly troubling or difficult. These memories pop up at unexpected times. Many years ago I was called to the emergency room to see a very pleasant 50 year-old woman for chest pain. Upon arrival, I noted a somewhat "ripe" (like an orange that had "passed its prime") smell to the room, a very lovely well made up lady, seated, breathing quite heavily, and unable to lie down without gasping for air. Underneath my hand when I went to examine her heart was a hard lump the size of a robin's egg in her breast. My stethoscope revealed clear evidence that her lungs were filled with fluid. Her laboratory tests quickly returned demonstrating proof of a heart attack, diabetic ketoacidosis, and a leukemoid (suggesting leukemia) reaction. I still recall the feeling of helplessness as I debated with mysel...
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