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.
Many women feel an unusual lump in their breast at some point during their lives; thankfully, only a tiny percentage of those lumps are cancer. A common source of breast lumps is the breast cyst, a benign yet annoying condition experienced by about 1 in 3 pre-menopausal women. What are cysts? If you feel a breast lump, can you tell if it’s a cyst? And what should you do about a cyst in your breast? Q. I was in the shower this morning, and felt a lump in my breast. I check my breasts most days while showering, and I know this lump wasn’t there yesterday. Can breast cancer appear that quickly? A. No, breast cancer can’t grow overnight. It’s possible, if a woman is unfamiliar with the usual shape and feel of her breasts, that she may notice a lump that seems to have “just appeared,” and that the lump turns out to be cancer. But most lumps that actually do crop up overnight are cysts. Q. What’s a cyst? Is it dangerous? A. A cyst is like an internal b...
Although most breast cancers begin as lumps or tumors, inflammatory breast cancer usually starts with a feeling of thickness or heaviness in the breast. You also may develop red, inflamed skin on the breast. IBC tends to grow in the form of layers or “sheets” of tissue, which doctors sometimes call “nests.”
The breasts swell and become inflamed because the cancer cells clog the vessels that carry lymph. Lymph is a clear, watery fluid that transports white blood cells and removes bacteria and proteins from the tissues.
Common symptoms of IBC include:
Redness of the breast: Redness involving part or all of the breast is a hallmark of inflammatory breast cancer. Sometimes the redness comes and goes.
Swelling of the breast: Part of or all of the breast may be swollen, enlarged, and hard.
Warmth: The breast may feel warm.
Orange-peel appearance: Your breast may swell and start to look like the peel of a navel orange (this is called “peau d’orange”).
Other skin changes: The skin of th...
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