Chest pain and swelling, severe pressure sensitivity and small nodules - these are the typical signs of mastopathy, the most common benign change in mammary tissue. About every second woman between the ages of 35 and 55 is affected by more or less strong, benign changes in breast tissue. The changes themselves have no disease value - not every woman with a mastopathy has complaints.
Hormones out of balance
The exact cause of mastopathy is unknown. But one knows that estrogen plays an important role in this. Probably a disturbed ratio of the body's sex hormones progestin and estrogen is based, which estrogen over the progestin outweighs eventually. This happens when too much estrogen is produced or when progestin production subsides.
This hormone imbalance in the long term results in a transformation of the breast tissue. For example, connective tissue is rebuilt, causing hardening and scarring and nodule development. In addition, large or small cysts may form or accumulate water in the tissue. When pain persists, it is often cycle-dependent, with the most severe symptoms just before the onset of the period. With the onset of bleeding the pain usually decreases again.
Diagnosis of mastopathy
Many women notice themselves when the breast changes. She feels harder when palpating, nodules can be felt or there is a touch pain. Rarely, there is also a discharge of fluid from the nipple. And almost always the changes happen on both sides. The doctor will be able to make an initial diagnosis based on the palpation findings, the age of the woman and the usually cycle-dependent pain.
But any change can in principle also be based on a malignant cause that even the doctor can not recognize by just touching. In order to exclude these, further investigations are necessary. This includes a mammogram, usually an ultrasound examination of the breast and if there is still uncertainty, also a targeted tissue removal.