Benign Breast Disease: Part 2

Oct 15, 2022
Benign Breast Disease: Part 2
Hello, Warriors! Welcome to The Breast Place blog and thank you for taking time out of your active schedule to visit! We appreciate our readers to the utmost degree, as we do our patients.

Hello, Warriors! Welcome to The Breast Place blog and thank you for taking time out of your active schedule to visit! We appreciate our readers to the utmost degree, as we do our patients. If this is your first visit to The Breast Place blog, we welcome you. We cover a range of topics here. From breast cancer management to anti-aging skin treatments to helpful tips for maximizing your overall health and wellness—The Breast Place is committed to sharing the best health practices and treatment options with you! Our offices are open and our staff is prepared to answer any questions you may have about your health, your breast cancer risk, and how to reach your aesthetic goals. 

At The Breast Place, we offer several oncoplastic surgical procedures, such as natural reconstruction, nipple-sparing mastectomy, Hidden Scar™, implant reconstruction, and breast lift with or without reduction. Oncoplastic surgery is distinct from both breast cancer surgery and plastic surgery–though you initially assume oncoplastic surgery to be a mixture of both. Rather, the aim of oncoplastic breast surgery is “to achieve good aesthetic outcomes for women with breast cancers who would have unacceptable outcomes with other BCS techniques, and in addition, enable breast-conserving surgery for larger breast cancers.” While breast cancer surgery prioritizes the eradication of cancerous tissue and plastic surgery prioritizes the cosmetic appearance of the breasts, oncoplastic surgery takes both of these aspects into account when planning for the final outcome. You can find out more information about what to look for in an Oncoplastic surgeon here. 

In our last blog, we began discussing benign breast disease, which is generally defined as the development of benign breast lumps. There are many different types of benign breast disease, and they can affect both women and men. It’s important to be aware of potential breast conditions so that you are able to identify changes in your breasts. We discussed conditions such as fibrocystic changes, breast cysts, fibroadenomas, and hyperplasia. For more information, we encourage you to check out our last post!

Before we continue with today’s topic, we’d like to make you aware of what we have to offer at The Breast Place this month. It’s October, which means the spooky season is officially here! To celebrate, we are offering spooky specials! This month only, get $500 off EMSCULPT NEO packages and facial rejuvenation packages, as well as 40% off all Environ products and iS Clinical’s Extreme Protect SPF 30. You are BOOtiful– Let us help you embrace it! Stop by our office or reach out to us to purchase products. We can even ship them to your door!

Today, we’ll be continuing our discussion about benign breast disease. To recap our previous discussion, benign refers to a condition, tumor, or growth that is not cancerous and does not spread to other parts of the body or invade nearby tissue. Benign breast disease comes in many different forms and can affect both women and men, however it is extremely common in women. In fact, up to half of all women will experience breast lumps. Your risk of developing benign breast disease increases if you have a family history of breast cancer or benign breast disease, if you use hormonal replacement therapy, or if you have a hormonal imbalance. Let’s take a look at some of the types of benign breast disease.

Intraductal Papilloma

Intraductal papillomas are small, benign, wart-like tumors that grow within the milk ducts near the nipple. These growths are made up of gland tissue and fibrous tissue, as well as blood vessels called fibrovascular tissue. You may have multiple growths, or a single growth. Single growths are known as solitary papillomas. They often grow in the large milk ducts near the nipple and can cause clear or bloody nipple discharge. This discharge may come from only one breast. Solitary papillomas are sometimes painful and can often be felt as a small lump next to or behind the nipple. Several growths, known as multiple papillomas, are often found in small ducts in areas of the breast that are farther away from the nipple. These are less likely to cause nipple discharge. Intraductal papilloma mainly affects women ages 30 to 50. Having five or more papillomas at the same time may increase your risk of breast cancer. You may choose to have intraductal papillomas treated depending on their size and if they are causing symptoms. 

Mammary Duct Ectasia

Mammary duct ectasia, sometimes called periductal mastitis, occurs when a milk duct in the breast widens and its walls thicken. This can cause the duct to become blocked, leading to fluid build-up. Blocked ducts can cause an inverted nipple or nipple discharge, but duct ectasia often causes no symptoms. On very rare occasions, lumps may form in the breast as a result of scar tissue that forms around inflamed ducts. This condition is most common in women approaching menopause, menopausal, and postmenopausal women, but can happen at other ages. Sometimes, mammary duct ectasia can go away on its own. In some cases, you may need antibiotics, if the blockage was caused by a bacterial infection. If the symptoms do not improve, however, you may need the duct surgically removed. It does not increase your risk for breast cancer. 

Fat Necrosis

Sometimes called traumatic fat necrosis, this is a non-cancerous condition that can develop when an area of fatty tissue in the breast is injured. Fat necrosis is the death of fat tissue, usually due to breast surgery, radiation treatment, or injury that leads to loss of blood supply. It can cause hard lumps to form under the skin, and you may notice a change in the texture of the skin in that area. The area may appear red, bruised, or thickened. It is a process that takes place in several stages. As the fat cells, consisting of adipose tissue, begin to die, they release their contents. This forms an oil cyst, which is a sac filled with grease-like fluid. Over time, small deposits of calcium known as calcifications form around the walls of the cyst. These calcifications are often seen on mammograms. Although fat necrosis can form lumps that can be felt in the breast, it usually does not hurt. The body will repair the damaged tissue, replacing it with scar tissue. Fat necrosis does not increase your risk of breast cancer, and this condition does not usually need to be treated. 

What should you do if you notice changes in your breasts?

Noticing changes in your breasts can be scary, especially if you discover a lump. However, it is important to remember that the majority of breast lumps are benign. With that being said, it is still important to report any changes– whether it is a lump or any other change– to your doctor or medical professional. If you are not sure whether or not a lump or other change in your breast is normal, speak with your healthcare provider. It is important to perform routine breast self-exams so that you are aware of the natural texture and feel of your breasts and can identify any changes. It is recommended to perform this self-exam at least once per month in order to look for changes in breast tissue, including changes in size, shape, color, or lumps. Sometimes, lumps cannot be felt, but they may show up on breast imaging like mammograms or ultrasounds. This is why it is important to keep up with your regularly scheduled mammograms. It is generally recommended that women with no history of cancer receive annual mammograms beginning at age 40. However, if you are under 40 and experiencing issues or changes in your breasts, we encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider. 

Here at The Breast Place, we offer clinical breast exams, family history risk assessments, breast ultrasounds, and biopsies. While we do not do mammograms on-site, we work with most facilities in the area to order, schedule, and follow up on mammograms for our patients. If you have any concerns at all, we encourage you to reach out to us to schedule a consultation with one of our licensed breast specialists. 

We hope you found this article informative and we strongly encourage you to regularly perform breast self-exams. Here at The Breast Place, we are dedicated to helping you feel more confident in your skin. We offer injectable treatments such as Botox, Juvéderm, and Dysport, as well as other facial rejuvenation services such as laser treatment and more! Additionally, we offer breast imaging services and provide consultations, clinical breast exams, and dedicated treatment plans. We strongly encourage you to reach out to us for a consultation if you have any questions or concerns pertaining to our service areas– We are committed to empowering women, and we are proud to offer treatments and products to help you look and feel your best. Thank you for taking the time to read today’s article and we hope you’ll check back in for future posts about treatments, wellness, and more!