Mastopathy (in other words, fibrocystic breast disease) is an abnormal growth of tissues in the area of the mammary gland. This is a non-malignant disease that develops in both glands at the same time. MedAboutMe will tell you how to identify the symptoms of mastopathy in yourself and distinguish it from other breast diseases, as well as when it becomes necessary to pick up the phone and make an appointment with a doctor.
Mastopathy: features of the disease
Mastopathy is one of the most common diseases of the representatives of the beautiful half of humanity. It is detected in almost every fourth woman of reproductive age.
There are two forms of the disease:
- diffuse fibrocystic mastopathy, in which there is an proliferation of connective tissues, accompanied by the formation of small millet-like nodules, as well as strands. This is a rather painful process in which breast engorgement occurs;
- nodular fibrocystic mastopathy, in the event of which dense nodes of various sizes appear in the tissues of the mammary glands. During the examination, the doctor also determines the presence of separate seals that do not have clearly defined boundaries, are not connected to the skin, are mobile, increase on the eve of menstruation and decrease after they are completed. Pain in the area of the mammary glands is more pronounced than in the case of the diffuse form of the disease, the pain radiates to the area of the shoulder, armpit, shoulder blade. In some cases, there is an increase in axillary lymph nodes.
Hormone imbalance as a cause of mastopathy
The reasons for the development of such a disease of the mammary glands as mastopathy are not fully understood. If you believe modern ideas, the main culprit for the appearance of unpleasant symptoms is an imbalance of hormones in the female body, in particular, insufficient production of the hormone progesterone and an excess amount of estrogens.
An increase in the likelihood of developing mastopathy can contribute to:
- the absence in a woman’s life of such processes as childbirth and breastfeeding;
- frequent abortions;
- irregular sex life or its complete absence;
- cases of diseases of the mammary glands in female relatives;
- symptoms of pathologies such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, liver disease, disruption of the endocrine system;
- unfavorable environmental conditions.
In most cases, symptoms of mastopathy appear in women of reproductive age. Moreover, very often mastopathy is accompanied by gynecological diseases — menstrual disorders, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, hormonal infertility, and so on. Cases of mastopathy in older women are not excluded. Therefore, a regular examination by a mammologist is recommended for every woman.
Symptoms of mastopathy: when do you need an appointment with a doctor?
Coming to a consultation with a specialist (an appointment with a doctor can be made in advance by phone), women complain of pain in the area of the mammary glands, which, as a rule, increases before the onset of menstruation. In some cases, pain in the chest area makes itself felt already in the second phase of the cycle. The pain may radiate to the arm or shoulder blade area. In addition, during the examination, the doctor detects painful seals that appear in the tissues of the mammary glands.
Doctor’s advice: treatment of breast diseases
Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the mammary glands is the specialization of two doctors — a mammologist and an oncologist. Consultation of a second specialist may be necessary to exclude the presence of oncological diseases. To undergo an initial examination, you can make a preliminary appointment with a doctor by calling +7 (499) 519-32-56.
The doctor begins the examination by asking the patient about the features of the menstrual cycle, past diseases, the presence of cases of mastopathy in the mother, sister or grandmother, the number of births and abortions. The next stage is to clarify the nature of the complaints, the time of their appearance and the connection with menstruation. After that, the doctor performs a visual examination of the breast, including palpation of the mammary glands and armpits.
In addition, a specialist may prescribe some types of instrumental examination:
- mammography (x-ray examination of the mammary glands);
- ultrasound examination;
- puncture biopsy followed by pathological examination.
A woman diagnosed with mastopathy should be under the supervision of a specialist. It is put on record, which involves an examination every six months, the purpose of which is to observe the development of the pathological process. And of course, the doctor prescribes treatment depending on the form of the disease, the prevalence of the process and the degree of its neglect. In addition, the patient’s age, general health, and the presence of chronic diseases, in particular gynecological ones, are taken into account.
There are currently enough drugs for the treatment of diseases of this kind, and their range is still being replenished. But this cannot mean that when pain occurs in the area of the glands, you need to run to the pharmacy and buy advertised products. The choice of drugs, as well as the method of treatment, should be done exclusively by a doctor.
A woman may be given an appointment:
- gestagens (derivatives of the hormone progesterone) — Norkolut, Pregnin, Utrozhestan;
- drugs with antiestrogen action — tamoxifen, Fareston;
- drugs that can suppress the production of the hormone prolactin — Parlodel — (bromocriptine);
- androgen preparations — methyltestosterone, Testobromlecit.
In addition, the doctor may prescribe vitamins A, E (tocopherol acetate) and group E. In some cases, the use of antioxidants, in particular beta-carotene, as well as iodine preparations, is indicated.
In the process of treating the nodular form of mastopathy, in the recent past, only the surgical method was used, that is, operations were performed to remove the nodes. Surgical intervention is still taking place. But recently, this method has become more cautious, because the removal of nodes does not help eliminate the cause of the disease. Moreover, in some women after surgery, they form again.
After the treatment of mastopathy, a woman will have to take certain precautions — to refuse to visit the bathhouse and solariums, and also to avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Otherwise, unpleasant symptoms may appear again.