Breast Problems

A common problem.

Uncommon Care.

If you’re a woman, you’ve probably experienced some type of breast problem. Breast lumps, breast pain or tenderness, nipple discharge, nipple inversion, changes in the skin of the breast – all are common problems that women of all ages experience. While it can be frightening to discover a new breast problem, most breast problems are not caused by breast cancer. At Women’s Health Associates, we understand the anxiety and will work with you to evaluate your symptoms and help determine if further testing or treatment is needed.

 

Typical breast problems are listed below.

breast problems
breast problems, women's health associates

Breast pain or tenderness.

This is the most common type of breast disorder and is usually caused by the hormones that control the menstrual period. Called “cyclical” breast pain, these hormonal changes can cause pain in both breasts several days before the menstrual period begins. Less common noncyclical breast pain is not related to the menstrual cycle and can occur in only one breast or one area of the breast. Noncyclical breast pain is usually caused by a problem outside the breast, such as muscle or connective tissue strain, or skin injury.

breast problems, nipple discharge, women's health associates

Nipple discharge.

A milky-colored discharge from both breasts is common in women, especially during the first and second year after giving birth, or for women with hypothyroidism as a side effect of certain medications, or because of a growth in the pituitary causing an increase in a hormone called prolactin. Many women can express a small amount of discharge, which is usually not a cause for concern. Spontaneous nipple discharge should be evaluated by your doctor.

breast problems, women's health associates bentonbille

Nipple inversion.

Many women are born with nipples that naturally invert (pull in), while others have nipples that evert (poke out). Natural nipple inversion is typically not a cause for concern. However, if you have naturally everted nipples that suddenly begin to invert, you should be evaluated. While most causes of sudden nipple inversion aren’t a cause for worry, it is occasionally the first sign of a breast cancer.

breast problems, women's health associates

Breast skin changes.

Changes or problems can often develop on the skin on or near the breast, some of which cause itching, dimpling, redness, or changes in skin color. While most of these changes aren’t caused by a serious breast problem, it’s important to be evaluated if the skin problem doesn’t resolve itself within a few days.