Fibrocystic breast disease are benign changes in the breast tissue that happen in many women at some time in their lives. Fibrosis is firmness in the connective tissues. These changes can cause areas of lumpiness, thickening, or tenderness; nipple discharge; or pain in the breast. Lumps and areas of thickening caused by fibrosis are almost always harmless. In severe cases, medicines may be prescribed to help reduce or relieve symptoms, but surgery is rarely needed.
Benign breast tumors are non-cancerous areas where breast cells have grown abnormally and rapidly, often forming a lump. Unlike cysts, which are filled with fluid, tumors are solid. Benign breast tumors may hurt, but they aren’t dangerous and don’t spread from the breast to other organs. A biopsy is the only way to find out if a lump is benign or cancer. Depending on the type, size, and number of benign tumors, surgery to remove them may be recommended.
Cysts are benign changes in the breast tissue. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs. If they are painful, cysts can be treated by taking out the fluid with a needle and syringe, but they may fill up again later. If a cyst has any solid parts, it’s no longer a simple cyst, and more tests may be needed. Some of these lumps can be watched with mammograms, but others may need a biopsy. The size, shape, and edges (margins) of the lump help the health care provider figure out if it might be cancer.
Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These changed cells form tumors and can spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer cells are very different from normal, healthy cells in the breast. Breast cancer develops over time, starting with one tiny, abnormal cell. In most cases this process takes a long time, but some types of breast cancer grow very fast and spread quickly. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women (other than skin cancer). It can develop at any age, but the chance of having breast cancer increases as women get older. Some women – because of certain risk factors – may have a greater chance of developing breast cancer than other women.
Breast pain is any discomfort, tenderness, or pain in the breast or underarm region, and it may occur for a number of reasons. Generally, breast pain is not a sign of breast cancer. There are a number of harmless causes for breast pain and tenderness that may primarily be related to changes in hormone levels. These can include: puberty in girls, menstruation cycle, pregnancy, and sometimes menopause.
Most of the time, women getting their routine mammogram will receive a letter within 30 days saying the results were normal. But if doctors find something suspicious, they’ll call you back – usually within just 5 days – to take new pictures or get other tests. Getting that call can be scary, but a suspicious finding does not mean you have cancer. In fact, less than 10% of women called back for more tests are found to have breast cancer. A suspicious finding may be just dense breast tissue, a cyst, or even a tumor that isn’t cancer. Other times, the image just isn’t clear and needs to be retaken. Or, if this is your first mammogram, your doctor may want to look at an area more closely simply because there is no previous mammogram to compare it with.
Nipple discharge refers to any fluid that seeps out of the nipple of the breast. Nipple discharge refers to any fluid that seeps out of the nipple of the breast.Nipple discharge in a woman who's not pregnant or breast-feeding isn't necessarily abnormal, but it should be evaluated by a doctor. Nipple discharge in a man under any circumstances could be a problem and needs further evaluation. One or both breasts may produce a nipple discharge, either spontaneously or when you squeeze your nipples or breasts. A nipple discharge may look milky, or it may be clear, yellow, green, brown or bloody. Nonmilk discharge comes out of your breasts through the same nipple openings that carry milk. The consistency of nipple discharge can vary — it may be thick and sticky or thin and watery.
Fibroadenomas are benign (non-cancer) tumors made up of both glandular breast tissue and stromal (connective) tissue. They are most common in young women in their 20s and 30s, but they may be found in women of any age. Fibroadenomas tend to be round and have borders that are distinct from the surrounding breast tissue. They often feel like a marble within the breast. You can move them under the skin and they are usually firm and not tender. A woman can have one or many fibroadenomas. Many doctors recommend removing fibroadenomas, especially if they keep growing or if they change the shape of the breast.
If you test positive for an abnormal BRCA1, BRCA2, or PALB2 gene, and you have never had breast cancer, you now know that you are at much higher-than-average risk of developing it over the course of your lifetime. For women, the risk of getting breast cancer in your lifetime if you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 abnormality is between about 40% and 85% — about 3 to 7 times greater than that of a woman who does not have the mutation. Your lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is significantly elevated as well: 16% to 60%, versus just under 2% for the general population. Whether or not you’ve ever had breast cancer, knowing that you have a BRCA mutation means that you are at much greater risk of developing breast and possibly ovarian cancer in the future. The latest research offers these insights about strategies for lowering those risks: preventive mastectomy, preventive oophorectomy (removal of ovaries), and possible hormonal therapies.
Every woman wants to know what she can do to lower her risk of breast cancer. Some of the factors associated with breast cancer -- being a woman, your age, and your genetics, for example -- can't be changed. Other factors -- being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking cigarettes, and eating unhealthy food -- can be changed by making choices.
Macromastia is a condition of abnormal enlargement of the breast tissue in excess of the normal proportion. The condition may be caused by glandular hypertrophy, excessive fatty tissue or combination of both.
The medical term for breast sagging is “ptosis.” This means falling down, drooping, or downward displacement. It will occur in almost all natural breasts except for the very smallest. Breast sagging is related to gravity and the tendency for all objects to fall toward the floor. Significant weight fluctuations, pregnancy, lack of bra use, and poor genetics are all related to breast ptosis.
Gynecomastia is swelling of the breast tissue in boys or men, caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly. Newborns, boys going through puberty and older men may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels, though other causes also exist.
A developmental disorder of breast shape and growth in which the breast assumes a constricted shape. It is associated with herniation of breast tissue into the nipple areolar complex (NAC), constriction along the lower pole of the breast causing a poorly defined inframammary fold.
Cancer surgery combined with immediate reconstruction to avoid deformity and match the other breast. This surgery has been proven to decrease the rate of positive margins and need for additional future corrective surgeries. Dr. Schwartz received international training in the European Centers where these procedures where invented.
For women with large breasts with cancer, this procedure simultaneously reduces the breast size and removes the cancer. The opposite side is reduced as well. This minimizes the toxicity of future radiotherapy known to be problematic in larger breasts. It also minimizes the chances of positive margins and significantly improves aesthetics and relieves symptoms such as back and neck pain. Reduction surgery should always be performed before radiotherapy if possible.
Dr. Schwartz routinely performs nipple sparing mastectomies. He has invented a technique to extend this surgery to patients with the “droopiest nipples”. This technique maximizes the beauty of the final aesthetics and has been proved to be safe in thousands of patients over more than a decade.
In patients with the very largest breasts who require mastectomy, Dr. Schwartz has devised special techniques to reduce this skin and use it to aid in the reconstruction. Sometimes, if there is enough extra skin and fat, an implant will not be required and the final reconstruction can be performed with only your own tissue in one definitive surgery.
Dr Schwartz learned how to perform this technique to selectively removed only involved lymph nodes during his fellowship by the physicians who invented this procedure. This minimizes the chances of lymphedema, pain and frozen shoulder.
This technique allows Dr. Schwartz to selectively remove only those lymph nodes that might be involved with cancer. This avoids removing the lymph nodes that may help drain lymph from the arm which may result in lymphedema if inadvertently removed.
Dr Schwartz described the first Goldilocks Mastectomy with free nipple grafts. This allows Dr. Schwartz, in one surgery, to perform a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruct your breasts using your own tissues without an implant or a flap from the belly or back. Dr. Schwartz has also described the first “two-stage” Goldilocks mastectomy which allows him to extend this technique to women with smaller breasts that cannot be completely reconstructed in one surgery.