The term covers all mastopathy benign breast changes, manifested by swelling, indurated nodules or cysts. These changes often affect both breasts are benign and, in general. A severe form of mastopathy may however change in breast cancer.
The breast is made of connective tissue and glands. Mastopathy occurs when this tissue changes. An increase of connective tissue and causes a nodule changes give rise to glandular cysts. Often it is a combination of nodules and cysts.
Approximately one in two women suffers from a mastopathy during its existence it is therefore of breast disease the most common. There is a distinction mastopathy compared with other benign breast changes (tumors), such as adenomas, fibroadenomas and lipomas.
An imbalance between the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, with excessive amounts of estrogen, is suspected of being behind the mastopathy. This was hypothesized because mastopathy usually affects women aged 30 to 50 years and disappears after menopause (since the patient does not follow hormonal therapy). Another clue suggests a hormonal cause: symptoms occur in the cycle, specifically at end of cycle, just before the onset of the rules.
Thyroid disease (hyper-or hypothyroidism) can also cause a mastopathy.
Breast tissue is thickened, indurated and may have cysts or not. The histological (tissue sample) shows that the tissue proliferated but the appearance of cells is normal; simple mastopathy is the most common form, with 70% of cases.
In this form, certain cells grow faster than others, it is frequently cells of milk ducts. Mastopathy This does not affect the appearance of the cells. With about 25% of cases, the proliferative mastopathy is the second form in terms of frequency.
Rarest form, with 5% of cases. The biopsy revealed pathological cells. Certainly it is not yet cancer, but the cells can lead to cancer later. Women with severe mastopathy have a risk of breast cancer 2 to 4 times higher. Regular checks are imperative in order to detect an eventual degeneration.
Symptoms vary greatly, both in terms of that kind of intensity. However, neither the type of symptoms, or intensity not reflect the severity of mastopathy.
The characteristic of mastopathy is that the symptoms occur towards the end of the cycle, ie shortly before menstruation (premenstrual syndrome).
Reminder: all palpated nodule is not synonymous with cancer. However, any change requires medical supervision palpable. It is essential that each woman to self-examine regularly.
There is no cure for mastopathy, only symptoms are treated. The nodules or cysts and nodules unsightly suspected cancer can be surgically resected. Analgesics can be effective in case of pain. Symptoms can also be mitigated by a gel containing a gestagen.
Mastopathy severe (grade 3) is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Surgical resection is not necessarily needed immediately, but regular checks should be performed to detect in time any cancerous degeneration.
Only the severe mastopathy may develop into cancer of the breast. A woman affected by other forms of mastopathy should try to live with.
Regular breast self-examination and medical tests one to two per year.