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Breast Cancer Versus Fibrocystic Breast Disease

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It is very natural to panic a bit when you find a lump in your breast. There are very few people who have not been affected by breast cancer in some way. Finding that lump immediately brings to mind mammograms, a cancer diagnosis and a panic that your life could be drawing to a close. Stop panicking before you visit your personal care physician. It could very well be fibrocystic breast disease instead of cancer. There is a huge difference between the two.

The breast is made up of fatty tissue that lies on top of muscle on the chest wall. For women who go through puberty up until the menopause stage, there are changes in the breast almost monthly. Fibrocystic breast disease is a common condition in many women. The first huge misconception is that it is a "disease." This condition is also known as mammary dysplasia and benign breast disease. Is it any wonder why many women panic at just the name when the doctor gives his diagnosis about the condition?

It is estimated that 60% of all women in their child bearing years will develop a bumpy texture in the breast. Doctors do not know precisely what causes the body to form these bumps and lumps. They do know that it does not occur after menopause and that if a woman is taking birth control pills she is less likely to develop mammary dysplasia. If there is a family history of this condition, a high caffeine intake and a high fat diet, then the woman is thought to be more likely to develop these smooth, rounded masses in her breasts. It has not been proven conclusively though.

If you do find lumps in your breast, a mammogram may not be of much help to you. Often the dense breast tissue that is formed by mammary dysplasia can make reading mammograms very difficult. Most often, an ultrasound is used to help identify the cystic tissue. If there is an area that the physician is worried about or it does not change from month to month, then he or she may order that a breast biopsy be performed.

It is perfectly natural for anyone, man or woman, to be concerned when they find a lump in their breast. With all of the cancer information available these days, the mind automatically begins to assume the worst. A simple trip to your doctor's office can help identify exactly what the lump or abnormality is. There is a good chance that it will only be fibrocystic breast disease. It may sound like a horrible disease but it is far better that a cancer diagnosis.


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