Mastopathy is a disease that affects the tissue component of the mammary gland. It is characterized by a pathological proliferation of the cellular elements of this organ and is formed as a result of violations of the hormonal balance of the body. Most often, this process has a benign course and occurs mainly in women of reproductive age. It is one of the most common diseases in the female body.

The mammary glands are a paired formation located on the anterior surface of the chest. Their size and shape depend on the individual characteristics of the female body. They consist of glandular tissue and have a number of individual lobules in their structure. Between the lobules is loose connective tissue and adipose tissue. From each lobular formation departs the excretory duct, through which milk is excreted during lactation. The excretory ducts open on the surface of the nipple. The nipple and the surrounding areola are represented by hyperpigmented tissue. In the areola area there is a large number of glands that secrete sweat and sebaceous secretions.

The state of the mammary gland is greatly influenced by the progesterones and estrogens produced in the body. Estrogens are especially actively formed in the female body in the first phase of the menstrual cycle, namely, before the moment when ovulation occurs. Under their influence, breast cells begin to divide and multiply especially intensively. After the onset of ovulation, there is a massive production of progesterone. Progesterones block the action of estrogens and slow down the proliferative processes in this organ. A balanced ratio of these two hormones maintains the normal cellular structure of the breast. A shift in the balance between them can lead to the development of mastopathy.

Mastopathy develops in two main varieties: nodular and diffuse. Nodular mastopathy is characterized by the formation of a single seal with clear edges in the tissues of the mammary gland. However, it can develop as a fibroadenoma or cyst. Diffuse mastopathy is a large number of rather small seals scattered around the entire perimeter of the breast tissue. It comes in three forms:

  • With a predominance of the glandular component;
  • With the predominance of the fibrous component;
  • With a predominance of the cystic component.

Among the main causes and risk factors that can lead to the formation of mastopathy, there are:

  • Inflammatory and tumor processes in the uterine region or ovaries;
  • Diseases from the organs of the endocrine system, namely the adrenal glands and the thyroid gland;
  • Frequent abstinence from sexual activity;
  • Numerous abortions in history or prolonged absence of pregnancy;
  • Avoidance of breastfeeding a child;
  • The presence of episodes of the disease in close relatives;
  • Traumatization or frequent mechanical impact on the mammary glands, causing discomfort;
  • Uncontrolled use of hormonal drugs;
  • Bad habits and frequent psycho-emotional overwork of the body.

Manifestations of nodular mastopathy

Manifestations of nodular mastopathy

As mentioned earlier, nodular mastopathy is characterized by the formation of a large seal with a clear contour in the tissues of the mammary gland. Moreover, such seals are single, and there are multiple. They can be localized in one breast or both at once. It is generally accepted that such a pathology several times increases the risk of developing an oncological process in this organ.

The main sign of nodular mastopathy is the presence of a palpable formation in the mammary gland. Moreover, such a formation has clear boundaries and is not soldered to the surrounding tissues. In some women, the clinical picture includes soreness and breast enlargement in the premenstrual period. In addition, it is possible to discharge a clear or brownish liquid from the nipple when pressed. In another group of female representatives, this pathological process does not cause any discomfort and is detected by chance during a routine preventive examination.

Manifestations of diffuse mastopathy

Diffuse mastopathy very often precedes the nodal process. It proceeds with the formation of small nodular elements and strands scattered throughout the mammary gland. As mentioned earlier, it can take three forms. The form with a predominance of the glandular component is characterized by excessive growth of the glandular tissue of the mammary gland. In the case of the predominance of the fibrous component, there is an increased proliferation of connective tissue. If this disease develops with a predominance of the cystic component, then small cavities filled with fluid form in such a breast.

Diffuse mastopathy is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the chest area, which is aching or bursting in nature;
  • Swelling and compaction of breast tissue;
  • Determination of granular elements in it during palpation;
  • Discharge of a clear liquid when pressed on the nipple.

Such a pathological process often occurs against the background of menstrual dysfunction and diseases of the gynecological organs.

Methods for diagnosing the disease

Methods for diagnosing the disease

Mastopathy is established upon examination by a mammologist. He conducts a thorough palpation examination, which makes it possible to suspect this disease. To confirm the diagnosis, it is recommended to carry out:

  • Ultrasonic research method;
  • mammography;
  • Needle biopsy.

Preparations for the treatment of mastopathy and its prevention

With the diffuse development of the pathological process, conservative therapy is carried out in the form of hormonal preparations. In addition, the use of vitamin complexes and phytopreparations is recommended.

The main treatment for nodular mastopathy is surgery. It is selected depending on the shape and size of the formation.

To prevent this disease, it is recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle, timely treat diseases of the endocrine and gynecological nature, and also conduct self-examination of the mammary glands.

Published on 02/23/2017 11:39 AM, updated on 04/17/2020 05:26 PM

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Used sources

Clinical surgery. national guides. / Ed. V.S. Savelyeva, A.I. Kiriyenko 2013

Surgical diseases. Textbook in 2 volumes / Merzlikin N.V., Alperovich B.I., Tskhai V.F. 2012

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