Scientists believe that mastopathy is the result of a disturbed hormonal background due to malfunctioning of the thyroid gland or sex hormones. Indeed, this disease often goes in conjunction with pathologies of the liver, ovaries, endocrine system disorders. In addition, a genetic predisposition and an environmental component cannot be excluded from sight.

The MedAboutMe portal will tell you in detail about the features, forms, symptoms of the disease and its prevention.

Mastopathy: the etiology of the disease

Mastopathy (or fibroadenomatosis) is a disease of the mammary glands of a benign nature. But in fact, the concept of «good quality» is very relative, since mastopathy has the ability to degenerate into a malignant tumor over time.

Sometimes the symptoms of the disease can be confused with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), because the clinic of manifestations is identical: swelling and painful hardening of the mammary glands. Therefore, women often believe that these signs are just harbingers of the next menstrual cycle. The only difference is that with mastopathy, the symptoms last until the middle of the menstrual cycle, then the signs of PMS subside in the initial phase of menstruation.

In addition, papillary discharge can indicate mastopathy — in this case, you should immediately visit a doctor for a diagnosis (ultrasound of the mammary glands) and blood tests to determine the level of sex hormones (prolactin, progesterone, estrogen).

With mastopathy, healthy breast tissues are replaced by tissues of a different quality — solid connective tissue or cysts. According to statistics, mastopathy is observed in almost 60% of women, which is usually explained by hormonal disruptions. It is also typical for the so-called «old-timers» — women whose first births occurred after the age of 25, and for women who feed their babies with mother’s milk for less than 5 months.

Symptoms of the disease

Symptoms of the disease

Mastopathy exists in two forms: diffuse and nodular.

Symptoms of the disease with diffuse mastopathy:

  • the presence of small multiple seals in the breast tissue, with the beginning of the cycle, absorbable without a trace;
  • mastalgia is a pain syndrome that occurs in the mammary glands at the end stage or in the middle of the menstrual cycle. The pains are different: aching, radiating to the back, neck, hypochondrium, bursting;
  • mammary gland tissues increase and evenly compacted, and when examining them, small granular elements are groped.

Pain during the onset of menstruation gradually subsides, and the seals are no longer so painful, or even completely disappear for a while. With diffuse mastopathy in the late phase, granular structures and soreness are already noted, regardless of the stages of the menstrual cycle. And sometimes even a simple touch on the chest can cause discomfort.

Fibrocystic mastopathy is not characterized by degeneration into breast cancer, but still it should not be overlooked. Every year it is necessary to visit a gynecologist and a mammologist. Up to 40 years, women are prescribed ultrasound of the mammary glands, and after 40 — mammography.

Nodular mastopathy corresponds to the name: clear isolated “nodules” are found in the tissues of the mammary gland, the size of which varies from a pea to the size of a quail egg.

Symptoms of the disease in the nodular form of mastopathy, in addition to pronounced nodular seals:

  • the breast in the premenstrual phase is enlarged due to swelling and painfully tense;
  • pain radiates to the shoulder blade or shoulder;
  • after the outcome of the edema, their painlessness returns to the nodes;
  • various discharges from the nipples with pressure are possible: from transparent to dark yellow and bloody drops.

But nodular mastopathy is not necessarily accompanied by uncomfortable sensations, so a woman can only detect it with a casual examination. In addition, nodular mastopathy is accompanied by a negative symptom of Koenig. We are talking about the fact that in the supine position nodal expressions in the mammary glands are not palpated.

Prevention of diseases of the mammary glands

Prevention of diseases of the mammary glands

Control over the state of the mammary glands is the first prevention of the development of cancer. A woman can independently examine herself, which does not cancel preventive examinations by a doctor. In a standing position, with closed fingers of the palms, the chest and armpits are checked. It is most correct to close the index, middle and ring fingers, and move from the nipples to the periphery of the chest. Such a check should be carried out every month at the end of the menstrual cycle.

In addition, we must not forget about the visual examination: is there any sudden breast asymmetry, swelling, redness, etc.

If there are such phenomena as an inverted nipple, changes in the skin of the mammary glands, a change in the shape of the breasts, unusual discharge, then you should not neglect them, as they may indicate a serious illness.

Prevention of mastopathy and cancerous tumors also consists in physical activity so that the lymph does not stagnate in the tissues of the mammary gland. Various sports areas are suitable for this purpose: fitness, water aerobics, swimming, yoga, gymnastic exercises for the development of the shoulder girdle.

It also means a lot to wear comfortable clothes that do not constrain the chest. The bra should not squeeze, and the bones, if possible, should be absent, and it is preferable to choose a fabric from natural ones.

The topless sunbathing method, beloved by a separate category of women, is very harmful, and doctors categorically forbid sunbathing with bare breasts. Solarium, baths and saunas are also harmful to the female body.

Since hormonal failure is most often the cause of mastopathy, it is recommended to monitor weight, avoiding obesity or excessive weight loss.

Food also affects the production of hormones, so a properly built diet is one of the main points in the prevention of mastopathy. Doctors advise to lean on vegetables and fruits, reduce the consumption of smoked meats, pickles, preservatives, animal fats.

Mastopathy: pathogenesis and the possibility of correction / Musina E.V., Kogan I.Yu. // obstetrics and gynecology 2016 ten

Mastopathy: a new look at an old problem through the eyes of a gynecologist / Pekarev O.G., Vasiliev A.N., Popova S.P., Pekareva E.O. // obstetrics and gynecology 2010 5