While men continue to treat breasts as the holy grail of sexual gratification, women's problems run much deeper than getting gawked at on the streets. Most women report having encountered one of the following 15 problems at least once in their lifetimes. Some of their struggles with their burgeoning chest start right after they hit puberty, especially during its growth phase. We will document some of the plights which will be faced by them.
Most women experience swelling of the breasts during their periods. The breast tissues will increase in size during an infection, injury or even cancer. But mastalgia does not require any treatment and will pass away with the time.
A hormone called progesterone increases in the body right before having a period. This causes the milk ducts to expand, leading to tenderness of the breasts. Progesterone usually precedes periods. So if you experience tenderness around the same time each month, it means you're getting a period.
Too much caffeine
While everyone likes to overload every once in a while on caffeine, there are experts out there who believe that too much of the antioxidant can actually result in boob pain. So if your daily routine involves heavy intake of coffee, it might be time to turn things down a notch.
Bumps on the breast
They're painful, unattractive and just plain embarrassing. Pimples on the breast can be cured by changing your eating habits or using over the counter medications. But sometimes they can be a sign of breast cancer or a yeast infection.
When women hit their menopause, around their 40s and 50s, their mammary ducts - which lie directly underneath the nipples - become dilated. This leads to a blockage of the ducts resulting in the buildup of fluid which eventually leaks into surrounding tissue causing infection and inflammation.
This is an example of a noncancerous breast tumor which forms in the milk duct. They form as one large lump near the areola or as several tinier lumps further down the nipple. Intraductal papilloma can cause swelling in the breast and pain.
When the fluid becomes trapped inside the breast tissue, they can start causing inflammation and infection. It usually starts occurring when women hit the age of 35 to 50. They can be soft or firm and may be painful to touch.
While the primary purpose of the nipples is to allow milk to discharge, it is not uncommon for the fluid to leak out when it's not really needed. You must see your doctor if you have bloodstained or watery discharge.
There is such a thing called a 'third nipple'. A rare condition in which people end up having more nipples than is the norm. They do not come with a medical condition and people generally get them removed when they're dissatisfied with their appearance.
This is a common problem in breastfeeding women. With time and overuse, the skin around the nipple can wear and tear, eventually resulting in itchy nipples. The urge to scratch the itch should be ignored and proper medication should be taken after consultation with a doctor.
This is a special type of non cancerous benign in which the lobules become enlarged and become distorted to look like a scar. They can be painful and may require a doctor's attention. Women with sclerosing adenosis are not at increased risk of contracting breast cancer.
Granular cell tumors
While they are classified as tumors, they aren't really cancerous. Granular cell tumors grow in early forms of nerve cells and rarely make their way to the breasts. They can cause painful lumps to grow on the breasts. They're commonly found in the upper or inner part of the breasts.
Fat necrosis and oil cysts
These occur as a direct consequence of injury to the breasts. The fatty breast tissue gets damaged but when the body tries to repair them, instead of forming scar tissue like they usually do, the fat cells die and release their contents - this eventually results in a collection of greasy fluid called an oil cyst which can cause pain.
Papillary carcinoma of the breast
They usually hit women who have already passed through their menopause, papillary carcinomas show up as well defined borders which can be seen as fingerlike growth. Because they're classified as grade 2 on a scale of 1 to 3, they can be treated if diagnosed early.
The most common type of breast cancer in women is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The cancer starts growing inside the milk ducts. While it can be cured, recurrences do happen every 5 to 10 years after diagnosis. As people age, their risk of breast cancer increases, which explains why there are so many cases of DCIS in women.
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