Mastopathy – a disease or a norm?

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What is mastopathy

Fibrocystic mastopathy is included in the ICD-10 (in the international classification of diseases) as “benign breast dysplasia”. That is, officially, mastopathy is a disease.

During the initial examination, mastopathy is detected in 30-40% of women, and during instrumental examinations (ultrasound, mammography, histological studies) – in almost 80%. That is, purely statistically, this is the norm.

In fact, mastopathy is an imbalance between the connective (fibrous), epithelial and glandular tissue in the mammary gland.

Mastopathy can be:

  • with a predominance of the glandular component (adenosis);
  • with a predominance of the fibrous component;
  • with a predominance of the cystic component;
  • mixed.

Causes of mastopathy

It remains to understand how the imbalance occurs. It is known that hormones are responsible for the development and growth of the mammary glands. The most important in this regard are estrogens, prolactin, progesterone and growth hormone. The state of the female breast directly depends on their ratio in the body.

When hormonal imbalance occurs, then the risk of developing mastopathy increases. Here is a list of the most common triggers:

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  • early puberty and earlier onset of menstruation;
  • late onset of menopause;
  • termination of pregnancy (abortion);
  • complete absence of pregnancy and childbirth during life;
  • refusal to breastfeed a child, or a short period of lactation and its artificial completion;
  • taking inappropriate hormonal contraceptives;
  • gynecological diseases;
  • overweight (adipose tissue is the base for storing estrogens);
  • tumors of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland;
  • irregular sex life.

Risk factors are also heredity (the presence of any breast diseases in the mother or maternal relatives) and age (over 35 years), as well as any inflammatory processes of the mammary glands; chest injuries and diseases associated with iodine deficiency. If you include stress in this list, it becomes obvious that any of us has at least one reason for mastopathy.

What is dangerous mastopathy

By themselves, mastopathy is a benign formation. But it is wrong to consider pain as the norm, even if it is periodic pain.

Mastopathy can be asymptomatic and detected only during examination of the mammary glands. However, more often women complain of pain of varying severity, a feeling of fullness and an increase in breast volume, an increase in the density and heterogeneity of the structure of the mammary gland, and discharge from the nipples. These symptoms usually appear in the second half of the menstrual cycle and may be accompanied by irritability, increased nervousness, fear, tearfulness, and headache. Of course, an examination is necessary – first of all, in order to distinguish mastopathy from more formidable diseases.

In addition, once again returning to the list of causes of mastopathy, you will understand that this disease can be a symptom of gynecological and endocrine disorders, which certainly need to be corrected.

How is mastopathy treated?

Now they use both surgical and medical treatment of mastopathy. The choice of method and drugs depends on the form of the disease. Like any other pathology, mastopathy is subject to dynamic monitoring: an annual visit to a mammologist and examination of the mammary glands (ultrasound from 20 to 40 years and mammography after 40 years).

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

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