Feeling a lump on your breasts can be a terrifying moment. 'Cancer' is the first thing that comes to mind but in reality, most lumps in the breast are not caused by cancer. Apart from cancer, breast lumps can be caused by non-cancerous growths, injuries and infections. The only way to correctly diagnose the cause of a lump in the beasts is through a biopsy. Hence, this is the first step towards treating a breast lump. From here on, treatment will depend on the cause identified.
1. Mastitis or Breast Infection
Mastitis is a painful infection of the breast tissue often faced by women who are breastfeeding. It can be treated with heat treatment and antibiotics. Massaging the breast while taking a warm shower or applying a warm compress. This will open up the milk ducts and should be followed by nursing the baby or using a breast pump to relieve the swelling and pain.
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment against an abscess but this is effective only if given in the initial stage of the infection. In later stages, an abscess will need to be surgically drained.
This is a non-cancerous tumour often found in young women. It is often difficult to distinguish between a Fibroadenoma and a cancerous tumour and hence these are usually surgically removed.
4. Fibrocystic Changes
In some cases, the breast itself is composed of knotted, rope like tissue. This is known as having fibrocystic breasts. If a new lump presents itself on fibrocystic breasts, a mammogram and an ultrasound are performed to evaluate the lump. In most cases fibrocystic changes do not require any medication or surgery.
5. Breasts Cysts
Cysts can be defined as fluid filled lumps. In some cases, these cysts become apparent at the time of ovulation and disappear after the period. In other cases, it may need to be drained with a thin needle. Cysts often recur and need to be re-drained.
6. Fat Necrosis and Lipoma
Fat necrosis is a lump caused by an injury to the fatty tissue in the breast. Lipoma is a fatty growth within the fatty tissue. In both these cases, no treatment is required but if it causes any problems, it can be removed.
7. Breast Cancer
If the biopsy reveals the presence of a cancerous tumour, you must immediately consult an oncologist. Treatment options for breast cancer include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and hormone treatment.
Gynecomastia is a hormonal condition that causes swelling of the breast tissues in men and boys. This condition usually arises as a result of hormonal imbalance. Breasts do not form in the same pattern in males as they do in females but all males are naturally born with tiny quantities of the breast tissues. The male body produces the testosterone hormone, which plays an important role for growth during the stage of puberty. However, they also make the hormone estrogen that is instrumental for developing sexual growth in females.
When a male passing through the stage of puberty makes lesser amounts of testosterone then there is an imbalance of the hormones. As a result of the higher amount of estrogen present in men leads to swelling of the breast tissues.
Cause of imbalance-
Aside from the common reason which is the lesser production of testosterone, there are a few other reasons that can put into effect this imbalance. They are-
• Injury to the testicles that are responsible for producing testosterone
• Obesity which leads to greater production of estrogen
• Taking illegal drugs
• Liver disorder
• Failure of the kidney
• Thyroid problems that result in throwing off your hormonal balance
• Medications that you might be taking for illnesses such as cancer, depression, heart disorders and ulcers
Treatment of Gynecomastia
The treatment of gynecomastia involves a general surgery which reduces the size of breasts by flattening and enhancing the contours of the chest. If in very severe cases the weight of the breast tissue has sagged and stretched the areola region, then the areola size can be improved surgically by reducing the excess skin.
Plastic surgery, known as Mammaplasty, is also sometimes put into effect in order to treat the condition of gynecomastia.
In the case of liposuction, the procedure of the treatment first starts with a set of medications that need to be consumed. These medications help to reduce pain during the surgery. There are two ways of taking this medication, either through intravenous sedation or via general anaesthesia. The liposuction technique involves the insertion of a hollow tube with the help of several incisions. Liposuction technique is generally prescribed if the cause of gynecomastia is excess of fatty tissues. During the procedure, the cannula or the tube will be moved back and forth in order to loosen up the excess fat. This fat is then removed via vacuum suction.
• Excision Technique
The excision technique is prescribed when the glandular breast tissue needs to be removed in order to rectify gynecomastia. In this procedure, the nipple will either be repositioned to a manlier contour or the areola size will either be lessened. In some other cases, the general surgery of gynecomastia can also involve a combination of both the excision technique as well as the liposuction technique.
Gynecomastia is a condition that can severely damage the emotional balance of a man and lessen their self-confidence. It has been also seen that many men suffering from this condition tend to avoid physical intimacy or sexual activities as a result of body-image issues. Therefore, treatment is highly recommended for those suffering from gynecomastia.