Articles on breast diseases

Do You Need a Breast Pump?

Dr. Priya Shashank, Wellness
Often when I meet new mothers who are facing problems with breastfeeding, I observe that they have already purchased a breast pump, but find it either ineffective or painful to use. Should all new mothers be buying breast pumps? The answer is NO. You do not need a breast pump if your baby is latching well and is able to feed directly from your breast. Also, if you plan to be there for your baby's nursing needs throughout first six months and later as well, you do not need to pump your breast milk. In case you suffer from frequent engorgements, hand expressing milk is as good as pumping, sometimes even better.That said, here are a few situations where a mother may need to use a breast pump:1. To avoid supplementing feedings with infant formula. By expressing her own breastmilk, a mother can continue to feed her child only breastmilk even when they must be apart during baby’s meal times.2. Need to return to work. For many new mothers, returning to work shortly after giving birth is a reality, but by pumping and storing milk while at work a mother can continue to provide her baby with breastmilk as long as she would like.3. To allow dad or other family members to feed baby. When mom expresses breastmilk for later feedings, dad and older siblings can give feedings to help mom and bond with the new baby.4. Give mom a chance to relax. Breastfeeding on demand can easily wear any mother out occasionally. Having a cup of expressed milk available allows mom to take some much needed time for herself while someone else takes care of baby.5. Premature or sick infant is unable to nurse properly. In order to provide breastmilk for a premature baby that is too weak to breastfeed a mother can use a hospital grade pump to express milk for feedings. A pump will also provide breast stimulation to increase and maintain a sufficient supply of milk.6. Induce lactation for an adopted baby. A breast pump can be used to stimulate a mother’s breast to induce milk production to breastfeed an adopted baby. Breastfeeding a great way for a mother and her adopted child to bond.7. Create an emergency supply. A mom can pump and store an emergency supply of breastmilk in her freezer to use for feedings in case she becomes sick or needs to take medication.8. Draw out flat or inverted nipples. Mothers with flat or inverted nipples can have trouble when trying to get baby to latch on properly. By pumping a few minutes before breastfeeding, a mother can draw out her nipple so that baby can nurse more easily.9. Provide milk for children of a multiple birth. Breastfeeding one child can be very demanding on a mother and feeding twins or other multiples only increases the demand and challenge for a mother. By pumping milk, a mother of multiples can provide her children with breastmilk without having to nurse around the clock.10. Maintain your milk supply. By using a breast pump to stimulate milk production a mother can keep her supply up so that she can breastfeed her baby when they are together.11. Baby has difficulty latching-on. If a mother’s breasts are very full, pumping some milk out can make it easier for her baby to latch-on and nurse properly. For other infants who are unable to latch-on because of a birth defect like a clip lip or palate, expressing milk is the only way for them to receive breastmilk for feedings.12. Donate extra milk to a milk bank. While some mothers may have difficulties producing a sufficient amount of milk for their babies, other mothers seem to produce an abundance of milk and choose to donate this surplus to infants that may not have access to breastmilk.13. Supplement first foods with breastmilk while weaning baby from the breast. Although a mother may want to wean her baby from the breast, she can continue to supplement her infant’s diet with breastmilk if she expresses and stores her milk.14. Relieve pain from engorgement. When a mother’s breasts are overly full and engorged with breastmilk, she can use a breast pump to express enough milk to provide relief from pain.**adapted from

Breast Reduction Surgery

Dr. Kapil Agarwal, Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon
Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is for a woman experiencing health problems and/or extreme self-consciousness associated with very large, heavy breasts. The main complains are backache, neck pain and skin rashes or itching along with difficulty in carrying large breasts. The goal is to give the woman a more attractive contour with smaller, better-shaped breasts in proportion with the rest of her body. She will then benefit from freedom of health problems associated with large breasts and an improved self-image.Medical problems associated with very large breasts include-back and neck pain caused by the excessive weight, skin irritation, skeletal deformities and breathing problems. Bra straps may leave shoulder indentations. Large, heavy breasts also contribute to poor posture, and can interfere with normal daily activities such as exercise. Excessive breast size may also lead to a decreased sense of attractiveness and self-confidence.THE PROCEDUREBreast reduction is done under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis or in the hospital. The surgery removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.Incisions are made around the pigmented nipple-areolar complex and extend vertically below the nipple and in the fold under the breast. The nipple-areolar complex is moved upward to the desired location. The incisions are covered with a light dressing.Afterward, the breasts are placed in a surgical bra that will hold them symmetrically during initial healing. Initial discomfort subsides daily and can be controlled with oral medications. Scars will fade in 6-18 months. Surgery will likely reduce, but not eliminate the ability to breast-feed.RECOVERY: WHAT TO EXPECTWhen performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, breast reduction is a safe procedure. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection, or reaction to the anesthesia. Some patients develop small sores around their nipples after surgery; these can be treated with antibiotic creams. You can reduce your risks by closely following your physician’s advice both before and after surgery.Much of the swelling and bruising disappears in the first few weeks following the surgery. Breasts may appear slightly mismatched, or have unevenly positioned nipples. Their new shape will be apparent within 6 months to a year, and will depend on hormonal fluctuations, weight changes and pregnancy.Although your surgeon will make your scars as inconspicuous as possible, some permanent scarring is inevitable. Smokers are more likely to experience poor healing and wider scars. The scars will be red and lumpy in the months following the surgery, but the redness will fade and in time the scars will be less obvious.ABILITY TO BREASTFEEDBecause the surgery removes many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples, breast-feeding may no longer be an option.Some patients may experience a permanent loss of feeling in their nipples or breasts. Rarely, the nipple and areola may lose their blood supply and the tissue will die. (The nipple and areola can usually be rebuilt, however, using skin grafts from elsewhere on the body.)THE END RESULTBreast reduction produces the most dramatic results of all plastic surgeries. It ends the physical discomfort or large breasts and makes your body appear more evenly proportioned, and clothes fit better. Your new image will take some getting used to, as much as you desired the change. Give yourself—and your family and friends—time to adjust to the new you and, like most women, you will enjoy the

7 Reasons That Can Cause Breast Enlargement

Dr. Amar Deep, Homeopath
Causes of Breast Size Change:HormonalHormonal factors are the single most important cause of changes in a woman’s breast size over a short period of time. It can occur with or during:Menstrual cyclePubertyPregnancyUse of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapyMenopauseGynecological diseases such as poly-cystic ovarian disease (PCOS)The female hormones causes enlargement of the milk-producing tissue in the breast and may also contribute to breast swelling by the way of temporary fluid accumulation. Hormones can also increase the fat content within the breast over the long term.InjuryTrauma to the breast causes inflammation. This increases the permeability of the blood vessels in the breast and fluid leaks out into the tissue spaces. It may be caused by :Blow to the breastRough handlingTight brassieresSurgery to the breastInflammation is a temporary process and the swelling is accompanied by pain, redness and heat over the skin. It is typically acute and resolves over a short period of time. Anti-inflammatory drugs are often effective in reducing most of the symptoms of inflammation. Usually only one breast is affected.Breast DiseaseVarious breast diseases can present with changes in breast size either through inflammation, loss or gain of fat tissue in the breast, the formation of growths and the accumulation of pus. This can affect one or both breasts. These breast diseases include :Fibrocystic breast diseaseBenign breast tumorsBreast cancerMastitis (breast infection)Breast abscessBreast cystGalactorrheaAny change in the breast size or shape has to first be investigated medically before it can be determined whether it is a physiological alteration or due to some pathology (disease). The presence of other symptoms like pain or tenderness, redness, heat, lumps, nipple discharge, changes in nipple appearance and bleeding from the breast are usually indicative of some underlying disease of the breast. However, changes in breast size without other symptoms may not mean it is not due to any disease – it is possible that it is just the first symptom and other symptoms will arise at a later stage. It should be noted though, that the breast size can change with hormonal factors that are in many cases just a normal part of life. Therefore the alteration in breast size may be innocuous and is not a symptoms of any breast disease.

Importance of Maintaining a Pain Diary in Breast Pain

Dr. Rohan Khandelwal, Surgical Oncologist
Breast pain (or mastalgia) is common problem faced by women at least once during their lifetime. It can range from mild pain to a chronic debilitating condition, which can even push a patient to the verge of depression. In fact, in the last one month, I have encountered two such patients, who have stopped socializing because of excruciating breast pain.Mastalgia has varied causes and it can broadly be divided into cyclical & non cyclical causes. Cyclical mastalgia (breast pain) usually occurs because of hormonal fluctuations and the intensity of pain varies according to the menstrual cycle. On the other hand non-cyclical mastalgia usually occurs because of musculo-skeletal causes and the pain persists all throughout the month.For the correct diagnosis and management of breast pain, it is important for the doctor to know certain points regarding the pain like:duration of painlocation – restricted to one point or spread over the entire breastintensity of painfluctuation in intensity of pain over a few daysRadiation of the pain – is the pain running to some other site from the breastIs there a lump associated with the pain? Usually breast cancer does not lead to pain in the initial phaseswhat makes the pain betterwhat makes the pain worseThese facts along with clinical examination and an ultrasound/ mammography help the doctor in determining the cause of breast pain. The above mentioned points can easily be maintained in a “pain diary”, which is something which I ask all my patients to maintain.Following is a format which I hand over to them and ask them to maintain it regularly for a period of 30-40 days.

Breast Self Examination

Dr. Manpreet Singh Bindra, Oncologist
Step 1 Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.Here's what you should look for:Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and colorBreasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swellingIf you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skinA nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling​Step 2 Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.Step 3 While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).Step 4 Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn.This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.  Step 5 Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.Self examination at home can be helpful in early diagnosis of Benign and Malignant Breast Diseases.  In case of any finding as mentioned above, immediately visit your GP or Specialist for quick examination and diagnosis.

Self Examination - Most Effective Way for Early Detection & Treatment of Breast Cancer

Dr. Sunny Jain, Oncologist
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. Lately, there has been a rising trend of breast cancer in younger females. As prevention of breast cancer is a difficult task, experts opine that breast cancer awareness is the way to go. The motto of breast cancer awareness is to educate females about self-examination of the breast. The simple five-step technique can evade a lot of suffering of a full-blown breast cancer.Steps for self-examination of the breast:Uncover your upper body till the waist. Stand in front of a big mirror. Place your hands on the hip and straighten the shoulder. Now carefully look at your breasts for their usual shape,size and colour. Breasts are normally evenly shaped with no visible swelling or distortions.Most women do not have both breasts of the same size and shape. So do not worry about that. What you should look for and report is bulging of skin, dimpling or puckering of skin.Check whether the nipple has changed position. If the nipple is pushed inwards or there is redness, soreness or swelling of the breast skin, consult a doctor.Next step is to raise your arms up and look for the same changes while still in front of the mirror.Now, have a look at both of your nipples and check whether there is some fluid oozing out.The fluid could be watery, milky, yellow or blood-stained. This is an alarming sign, as normally there is no discharge from the nipples.Next, lie down on a couch with upper body uncovered. Use your right hand to feel the left breast and vice versa. Keep the finger flat and together and use the first few finger pads of your hands to feel the breast. With a firm and smooth touch, move the hand in circular motion covering a small portion of the breast at a time. Continue to examine in this fashion and cover entire breast from collar bone to top of abdomen and cleavage to armpits.Follow a pattern and make sure you feel the entire breast. Beginning at the nipples, you can move your hand in larger circles to the outer edge of the breast. Alternatively, you can move your hand up and down vertically in rows.Use light pressure for tissue beneath the skin and medium pressure on the middle part ofthe breast. As you reach the deeper tissue near the ribcage, use firm pressure to feel the breast. Follow the steps for both breasts.Finally, feel your both breasts in a similar way as above in a sitting or standing position. You may choose to do it as you shower if the wet and slippery texture of the skin comforts you.A stitch in time saves nine! If you are in your thirties or forties, this is a must for you. Self-examine your breast once a month, well after your periods are done. If you notice any changes, report to a gynaecologist soon.

Tips to Protect Your Breasts From Sagging

Mrs. Sneha Fernandes, Psychologist
“Breasts are very important for women. Their clothes just don't hang right without them.-  Jennifer Crusie. Reasons for Sagging BreastsSurprisingly, one of the key factors is cigarette smoking. There is a protein called elastic in our skin which is responsible for its elasticity and smoking breaks down this protein.  Pregnancy is another cause of sagging breasts and the effects are more pronounced after multiple pregnancies. Other factors that cause sagging breasts such as menopause, rapid weight loss or gain, strenuous exercise, nutritional deficiencies & wearing a poorly fitting bra. Lack of water takes a toll on the skin, and can make the skin over the breast look shrunken and dull. When there is less water in the body the skin doesn’t receive the requisite amount and might look flaky, dry and get wrinkled. This could lead to premature aging of the skin around the breasts making it lose firmness and thus sag.Women with a bad posture have tendency of sagging breast or drooping breast.Symptoms of Sagging BreastsAt mid-30s, a woman’s breasts start to lose fatty tissue resulting in a reduction of size and fullness.  The ligaments and connective tissue in a woman’s breasts gives shape to her breasts and requires estrogen to remain elastic. As a woman ages, the amount of estrogen her body produces decreases and this has a negative effect on the elasticity of her skin and results in sagging breasts. Diet Tips for  Sagging BreastsOne should always combine healthy eating with exercise, as this is the only way to reduce weight while keeping one's skin firm. Drastic weight loss in a short span of time would definitely cause breasts to lose their fullness.It's essential to eat foods that are nutritionally rich and contain proteins, vitamins, calcium, minerals, carbohydrates and essential fats etc.Pomegranate is considered a wonderful anti-aging ingredient and can help prevent sagging breasts.Certain seafoods have been widely known to help boost sex hormones and promote the growth of breast tissue. Manganese is the component in seafood like prawns, oysters, and shellfish that help accelerate estrogen and develop more breast tissue.Foods like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds or anise seeds are beneficial. They helps boost natural estrogen levels which also include cashew, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, Brussels sprouts, Kale, Spinach, tomatoes, onions, carrots, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic etc. Firming Breast ExerciseMost popular exercise to add firmness to breasts is to do push-ups. Overall, it will help to shape up the breast and reduce the excess fat deposits around the chest. Lifting weights can also strengthen pectoral muscles, including curls, chest presses, dumbbell flyers and many other variations can be tried. Swimming half an hour in the pool on a regular basis can firm up the breasts like nothing else. Swimming tightens up the muscles responsible for holding up the breasts. This is enough to lift the drooping breasts.Home remedy- Multan mite powder 1 tbs, egg white & alo vera juice 6 drops. Make a paste & applying on the breast keep it till it gets dry - to be done twice a week. Triggers to AvoidSmall sized or lack of coverage fitting Bras, metal framed bra or ring in the bottom of the cup , wrong sized bra can make breasts sag in no time. Not wearing a bra would not help as well. The best option would be to opt for bras with special support holders or pads at the bottom of the cup. These would keep the breasts in place and prevent sagging. Some women who go bra less may actually have the right idea, and this has been suggested by new research.  According to the results of a 15-year study in France, bras provide no benefits to women and may actually be harmful to breasts over time. Nearly 500 women ( girls) aged 16 and 35, taking note of how the additional support provided by bras affects the body over time. Overall, it’s found that women who did not use bras benefited in the long term. “There are many good inventions on earth, some useful, some pleasing: for their sake, the earth is to be loved. And there is such a variety of well-invented things that the earth is like the breasts of a woman: useful as well as pleasing.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche.

Find Out More About Breast augmentation..

Dr. Aamod Rao
Breasts under go a lot of changes in time. Pregnancy and lactation often changes the shape of the breasts making it more loose or saggy. Deflated or droopy shapeless breasts is a confidence breaker.There are a wide range of definitive surgical options from implants to lifts to regain your lost confidence.Breast augmentation(breast implants) is suitable for women who perceive their breasts as being too small, either because they have never had full development of breast tissue or as a result of the loss of breast tissue that sometimes occurs after pregnancy and breast-feeding. Small breasts may also be due to massive weight loss. If breast sagging accompanies small breast volume, a breast uplift operation, Mastopexy, may be required.The enlargement can be done by either using an breast implant (silicone/saline) or by Natural breast augmentation using fat. The breast augmentation (breast implant) surgery does not usually alter breast function. Since the operation does not interfere with breast tissue, the possibility of breast-feeding after pregnancy remains unaltered. It must be remembered that not all women can breast-feed successfully anyway - the important point here being that the breast will function the same after treatment as before. There may be altered nipple sensation. Additionally, breast implants do not increase or decrease the chances of developing breast cancer. Hundreds of thousands of augmentation mammoplasties (breast implants) have been performed worldwide and there has never been any demonstrated relationship between breast implants and breast cancer or any other breast disease. Breast implant surgery usually is done on a day care basis. You can go home the same day after the breast implant surgery. Other than surgical correction - using Breast implants or the person's own body fat - there is no method that can increase the size and fullness of the breasts. Unfortunately, no amount of exercise, hormonal treatment or creams can have any noticeable effect on the dimensions of small breasts. This is why breast augmentation (breast implants) has become a very popular method of enhancing the female form. Breast augmentation (breast implants) has been successful world-wide and has helped many women attain a better figure, which in turn has made an important psychological contribution to their feelings of femininity, confidence, well-being and happiness. Physical and psychological factors are closely linked here; thus, patients are carefully assessed and guided in realising their expectations. Breast Implant Surgery is a day care procedure generally taking 45 mins to an hour unless it is combined with any other procedure like a lift. Swelling will be present for a few weeks during which a snugly fitting sports bra is encouraged. Massaging can be started within 3 weeks while taking a shower. Sexual activity can be resumed with in a month.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer You Should Be Aware Of!

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
According to recent studies, increasing prosperity and "Westernisation" of our traditional lifestyles; in addition to a richer diet, smaller families, delayed child bearing, and reduced breast feeding have driven breast cancer cases on to a higher trajectory.And for the same reason, now more than ever, symptoms and signs of breast cancer should be made known to every woman. At any point of time if one notices anything unusual, it should be investigated by a healthcare professional. By performing monthly breast self-exams, a woman herself will be able to more easily identify any changes in her breasts that can be a cause of concern.Most people who have breast cancer symptoms and signs will initially be able notice only one or two. That being said, the presence of these symptoms and signs does not automatically mean that one has breast cancer.Be on the look out for the following symptoms of Breast Cancer:A Change in the Breast or Nipple AppearanceAny unexplained change in the size or shape of the breastDimpling anywhere on the breastUnexplained swelling of the breast (especially if on one side only)Unexplained shrinkage of the breast (especially if on one side only)Recent asymmetry of the breasts (Although it is common for women to have one breast that is slightly larger than the other, if the onset of asymmetry is recent, it should be checked.)Nipple that is turned slightly inward or inverted, if it is of recent onset. Skin of the breast, areola, or nipple that becomes scaly, red, or swollen or may have ridges or pitting resembling the skin of an orangeA Change in How the Breast or Nipple Feels Nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm areaA change in the skin texture or an enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast  (some describe this as similar to an orange peel’s texture)A lump in the breast (It’s important to remember that all lumps should be investigated by a healthcare professional, but not all lumps are cancerous.)Any Nipple Discharge—Particularly Clear Discharge Or Bloody DischargeIt is also important to note that a milky discharge that is present when a woman is not breastfeeding should be checked by her doctor, even though it is not always linked with breast cancer. Bloody discharge should always be treated with high degree of suspicion.

Are You Unhappy With the Size of Your Breast?

Dr Deepali Agarwal
Breast augmentationIt is technically known as augmentation mammaplasty, a surgical procedure to enhance the shape and size of a woman’s breast. The surgery offers you with an opportunity to improve your body contour and achieve a more proportionate figure. It helps to restore the shape and size of the breast lost due to various reasons, the most common being the result of having children.A few facts you should know about breast augmentation surgery are as follows:The length of the surgery is usually 1-2 hours.The anesthesia used is usually local anesthesia with intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.The length of the stay is usually 1-3 days.During the recovery phase , initially mild to moderate discomfort can be felt. Minimal activity for several days is advisable. You can go back to work in 3-10 days. Avoid sternous exercise for atleast 30 days.Scarring that is present is minimal which is concealed in the dark area surrounding the nipple , the crease beneath the breast and the armpit. The scars take atleast 6 weeks to fade away and are usually inconspicuous thereafter.Complications are unlikely if you are in the hands of a well trained, qualified and trained plastic surgeon.The implants used for breast augmentation are not lifelong devices and they do not age with the woman’s body with time. There is no method to predict how long the implants will maintain their softness, appearance and function but the results are successful and comparatively long lasting if done by an expert.The surgery increases the self esteem of the woman.The woman opting for the surgery are much more confident and motivated after the surgery.The studies have shown that these women are happier than they were before the procedure.