Gynecology Breast pathology

Breast cancer is the most frequent neoplasia in women. The early diagnosis (gynecological test with a mammography) enables us to use less aggressive treatments guarantying healing and going back to a good quality of life.

The general symptoms indicating a pathology are: pain, tumors, nipple discharge and alterations in skin level. These are the most common problems found during a routine consultation.

Breast tumors

After the clinical check-up, the ultrasound and/or the mammography, we generally perform a breast insertion under ultrasound to extract the content of a possible cyst or submit a solid nodule for a cytological evaluation (diagnosis).

Fibroadenoma: it is the most common benign tumor of the breast. We can perform periodic check-ups, although surgery is recommended in the following cases: growth, risk of malignity or wish of the patient.

Other less frequent tumors: Phyllode tumor, hamartoma, lipoma, papilloma, etc.

Breast pain

Very frequent, even if rarely accompanied by a pathology. It sometimes originates in other areas giving the sensation that the breast is in pain (cervical neurology or inflammation of muscles or inter-costal cartilages). Cyclical breast pain (mastoidea) generally occurs during menstruation and has rarely an organic origin. Pain without any relation to the cycle (mastalgia) may be due to an inflammation, infections and tumors of type cysts, situations that should be avoided after a conscientious check-up and additional analyses.

Breast discharge

Depending on the characteristics shown, it is called thelorrhea (discharge without blood), thelorragia (blood discharge) or galactorrhea (thelorrhea of milk not during lactation period). The bilateral secretion (both breasts) or through various conduits often refers to an hormonal origin. A unilateral secretion and with blood may have an organic cause, and it is important to perform an analysis.

Alterations to the skin

Infection, inflammation or eczema. An evaluation on an individual basis is required.

Mastitis

The presence of pain, rash, heat or hardening, requires us to perform a diagnosis. A breast ultrasound is recommended to remove all abscess risks. Mastitis is most frequent during lactation. The treatment consists essentially of taking antibiotics.

Fibrocystic mastopathy

“Breast dysplasia” or “fibrous breasts”. The disease consists of a physiological excess of normal components of the breast tissue. Generally, it originates due to local hormonal problems.

Pain or the apparition of cysts is frequent. The mammography shows dense breasts presenting an irregularity. It is also used to detect the cysts which, depending on their size and symptoms, may be eliminated.

Breast cancer

It is the most frequent cancer in women. Through a clinical check-up, we perform a mammography, an ultrasound, a nuclear magnetic resonance, an insertion-aspiration with the help of a fine needle, a stereotactic biopsy or a surgical biopsy.

Prevention of breast cancer

The recommendations or the European Code against Cancer recommend:

  • Performing a periodical annual revision (gynecology and breast test).
  • Following a safe diet and a correct personal hygiene.
  • Practicing moderate physical exercises.
  • Not performing any hormonal treatment without prescription and medical consultation.
  • Not to smoke.
  • Moderate the consumption of alcohols.
  • Regularly controlling one’s weight and the arterial tension.

Breast cancer treatment

Depending on the type of tumor and its stage, we can rely on the following treatments:

  • Mastectomy: extirpation of the entire breast along with the cancerous tissues.
  • Tumorectomy: extirpation of the tumor supported by a mass of the tissue around the breast. This operation should be completed by a local radiotherapy.

The surgical treatment is frequently associated to other therapies, such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonotherapy, etc.

Last Update: 17/09/2014
References:
– Sociedad Española de Obstetricia y Ginecología. 2005. Protocolos: Patología Mamaria Benigna