Breast Diseases and its Genetics

March 18, 2012
By Alexx23 BRONZE, Houston, Texas
Alexx23 BRONZE, Houston, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

When women usually begin to complain about pain in their breasts, concerns increase. They begin to come up with theories whether they have breast cancer or if there in risk of developing breast cancer. Fibrocystic breast disease is commonly used phrase that makes women think, but this is not a disease. That is just a phrase to describe lumpy and painful breast. Breast diseases lead to breast cancer but not always, most of the time it depends how genetically prevalent the diseases are. Some types of diseases include Galactorrhea, Papilloma, Atypical Hyperplasia, and Breast Cysts.

Galactorrhea is a milky nipple discharge not related to the normal milk production. Galactorrhea isn’t exactly a disease, but it’s a sign of a problem. Galactorrhea comes from increased levels of prolactin, which is the hormone that stimulates milk production. Sometimes, medication is given to block the effects of prolactin and possibly to lower the amount of prolactin that you have in the body. If prolactin is reduced, Galactorrhea could be eliminated. Pituitary gland tumors, called pituitary adenomas or prolactinomas, can cause Galactorrhea as well. The pituitary is a small gland attached to the brain. Pituitary tumors are usually not cancerous. Other causes include medicine like blood pressure drugs, some herbs like Anise, and illicit drugs like Marijuana. Your risk of getting is of course if you’re a female, usually stressed out and if you wear clothing that can irritate the breast. Symptoms include headaches, heat or cold intolerance, and impotence in men. Ways you can prevent Galactorrhea is by not using illicit drugs or wearing clothes that irritates the breast. Galactorrhea is most common in females that are not pregnant.

Papilloma is a tiny wart-like growth in the breast tissue that can puncture a duct. These tumors are made up of fibrous tissue and blood vessels. There are two types of papilomas, the solitary intraductal papillomas and multiple papillomas. Solitary intraductal papilloma is when there is one lump, and it is usually near a nipple and it causes nipple discharge. Multiple papillomas are when groups of lumps that are far from the nipple and usually don’t cause discharge and it can’t be felt. Papillomas will most of the time involve a nipple discharge or “Pathological Nipple Discharge”, sometimes blood and sometimes serous fluid. About 5% of the women who do breast cancer screenings account with PND, about 70% that have PND get Papillomas and over 20% get Breast Cancer. Papillomas can be removed by surgery. Having solitary intraductual pappillomas does not increase the risk of developing breast cancer unless they are made of other things like atypical hyperplasia. If you have multiple pappilomas, your risk of having breast cancer increases slightly. Papillomas are common in young women.

Studies show that some types of microscopic changes put women at high risk of having breast cancer. These changes include the excessive cell growth, or hyperplasia. Hyperplasia increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Breast biopsies reveal both cell growth or hyperplasia and cells that are not normal, atypical. The abnormal cells can be found in the milk duct or the lobules. If hyperplasia is found, surgery removes them and determines any signs of breast cancer. The risk of getting breast cancer is four more times greater than women without Atypical Hyperplasia. The results of a study conducted by a New York doctor about atypical hyperplasia showed results of how many women had Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia (ADH), ADH with breast cancer and breast cancer without ADH. The results follow:

The results show that out of 2,453,483 women who did mammograms, 1,063 had ADH, 833 had breast cancer with ADH and 8,161 had breast cancer. It also showed the following:

Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia decreased from 5.5 per 10,000 mammograms in 1999 to 2.4 per 10,000 mammograms in 2005.

A Cyst is a fluid-filled sac. Cysts occur mainly in women ages thirty to forty years old. They often enlarge, tender, and become very painful before the menstrual period. The cysts are usually found in both breasts. Some cysts are small that they cannot be felt. Not common, some cysts are several inches across. The difference between a breast cyst and a regular cyst is that a regular cyst has puss but they can both be moved surgically. The California Pacific Medical Center believes that they are related to irregular balance between fluid production and absorption They are very clear and visible on ultrasounds. The cysts usually don’t increase the chance of breast cancer, but a doctor should evaluate them quickly.

Now, are some diseases more common than others? Yes, some diseases are more common than others. Galactorrhea, a nipple discharge, is the disease that is most common in males. Lets say that if your grandfather were to have it, then it got passed down to your father, it is most likely that you will get it if you’re a male. If you’re a female it’s different because you don’t know if you’ll be pregnant. Atypical Hyperplasia is four times more to cause breast cancer than Papillomas are. Breast Cysts don’t increase your risk of getting breast cancer, but Galactorrhea may cause breast cancer if it is caused by pituitary tumors and if the tumors have breast cancer.

Getting Papilloma by heredity, being passed down by genes is ten percent. Sporadic, meaning that it appears in scattered or isolated instances is seventy percent and familial is twenty percent.

Even though you may think that these diseases aren’t important or that what you feel is just a simple pain, it is important that some doctor check up is done. Maybe even find out more about family history and what kind of breast diseases they had because who knows, one of these breast diseases may appear.

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