Tuesday June 20 2017

What causes pain free swellings in the breasts?

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

I have swellings in my breasts which are not painful. I am worried it might be cancer. What should I do?

Dear Amooti,
Naturally, in women breasts feel bumpy or lumpy, especially, before one’s periods, due to an increase in female sex hormones that stimulate growth of fibrous (hard) tissue and water retention.
Cancer of the breast first surfaces as a lump, making women wary of breast lumps though only one out of 10 lumps may be cancer.
Breast tissue responds to hormonal changes and, therefore, certain lumps can come and go. If they do not, a thorough breast examination is necessary to determine the kind of treatment.
Lumps in a woman are often caused by fibrocystic (hard and water filled) changes, fibro adenomas (solid), and cysts (water filled sacs) or infection.
Treatment of a breast lump depends on the cause. Solid breast lumps are often removed surgically and a biopsy taken. The biopsy is to check whether it is cancerous or not.
Cysts can be drained. Breast infections require antibiotics.
Generally, reduce the likelihood of getting breast lumps, a woman should, avoid too much caffeine and chocolate, take Vitamin E, Vitamin B complex, limit fat, address obesity, and increase fibre in the diet.