A lump in the breast need not always mean that you have got the deadly breast cancer! Most persons who have them are lucky enough to find that they are harmless tumors called breast fibroids. These benign lumps, which may scare you by swelling and causing pain, are a feature of fibrocystic breast disease or mammary dysplasia. These rubbery and moveable lumps, which are common in women who are 30 years or older, are caused by menstrual hormones, fluid accumulation, and deposition of cellular waste matter.
Unlike breast cancer, the formation and growth of fibroid breasts is dependent on menstruation. It is important for women with tumors in their breasts to get medically tested to confirm that their tumors are benign. No tumor should be ignored by assuming that it may be benign.
You can examine your breast for the presence of a fibroid tumor. If your breast feels thicker than normal, is irregularly-shaped, burns, or pains, has itchy nipples, is swollen, you can expect a fibroid in your breast. You should visit your general physician to confirm that the discomfiture in your breast is due to a fibroid breast tumor and nothing else.
As we have noted, breast fibroids are caused due to hormonal action. The changing levels of your reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are responsible for the formation of breast fibroids, as they result in the rapid growth and multiplication of your breast tissue, resulting in the formation of fibroids. The glandular tissue of the breast itself produces substances similar to hormones called hormone products that may initiate the development of fibroids.
These hormone substances also influence estrogen and progesterone into causing the fibroids. These hormones result in the accumulation of fluid and cells in the breasts, similar to the tissue formation that they initiate in the uterus. However, as in the case of uterine tissue, there is no mechanism to dispose off the amassed cellular debris of the mammary glands, which results in the formation of fibroids.
Accumulation of cellular debris is a gradual process and it takes place over years, right from puberty to menopause. At menopause and later, the action of estrogen and progesterone decreases, resulting in non-formation of new fibroids and disappearance of the old cysts.
There has been no confirmation of the fact that a genetic history of breast cancer makes some women more prone to breast fibroids than others. However, it has been observed that a number of women with breast fibroids seem to have ancestors who had these tumors.
The mutation of the MED12 gene is seen to be responsible for making some women more vulnerable to developing breast fibroids. Women with fibrocystic breasts are seen to be potential candidates of breast cancer in comparison to their non-fibroid-breast tumor counterparts.
Breast fibroids are moveable, positioned in the upper quadrant of the breast, rubbery, rounded, smooth- bordered, small and bead-shaped. A mammography can confirm the nature of the tumor.
Ultrasound detection is implemented when a mammography cannot detect the nature of the tumor. Aspiration and breast biopsy are other tests used to confirm breast fibroids.
Breast fibroids can be treated by simple to complicated methods. A monthly breast self examination is one of the basic steps that a woman can take to detect breast fibroids. Wearing a good bra to support the breast is another step to alleviate the heaviness caused due to fibroid breasts.
Oral contraceptives and synthetic androgen are administered for treating breast fibroids. Fibrocystic breast can be controlled by diet therapy. Plenty of water, diuretic foods, low fat foods, vegetarian foods, cruciferous vegetables, and vitamin B protect against fibrocystic breast and also control it.
High caffeine, high simple sugars, excessively oily and salty foods should be avoided. Breast fibroids are removed by surgery when they do not respond to the other forms of treatment.