Causes, symptoms and treatment of cysts in the chest
- Causes of breast cysts
- Breast cyst symptoms
- Is a cyst in the chest dangerous?
- Breast cyst treatment
A cyst in the chest is a cavity that has formed from an enlarged milk duct.
An increase in the lumen of the milk ducts leads to stagnation of normal secretions in them, an increase in its viscosity. A thick secretion forms a plug that blocks the duct lumen. Over time, a formation forms at this place - a cyst, which resembles a bag of fluid, completely delimited from the surrounding tissues.
The properties of the cyst walls change depending on the duration of its existence. At the first stages, they are thin, consist only of the tissues of the milk ducts. Subsequently, the proliferation of connective tissue occurs, which leads to the formation of an elastic dense capsule.
The fluid inside the cyst is, in most cases, transparent, yellowish in color, but it can be brownish, greenish, depending on the components that make up it. If the cyst exists for a long time, then calcium salts can be deposited in its contents, this process is called calcification.
Breast cysts can be single, doctors call such formations solitary, or multiple, then we are talking about fibrocystic mastopathy. They can be located in one or capture both mammary glands.
Cysts can be of various sizes: from the smallest 2-4 mm to several centimeters in diameter.
Breast cysts are most common in women between the ages of 30 and 40. A special risk group are nulliparous women after 30 years.
Causes of breast cysts
At the heart of the occurrence of breast cysts is the abnormal growth of cells in the ducts of the mammary glands, which is associated with hormonal imbalance. A special role in this belongs to the female sex hormones estrogen. The increase in estrogen levels causes the breast tissue to grow. When hormonal balance is disturbed, the increase in its areas occurs unevenly, which serves as the basis for the occurrence of cysts. High estrogen levels can be observed in the following conditions:
- increased production of sex hormones by the ovaries;
- violation of hormone metabolism in the body in diseases of the liver and kidneys;
- low progesterone levels;
- an increase in the sensitivity of breast cells to the action of estrogens, this is observed in obesity, since adipose tissue contains a large number of estrogen receptors;
- receiving additional doses of sex hormones from the outside, for example, prolonged use of contraceptives or hormonal therapy for menopause;
In addition, prolactin, which is responsible for milk production during breastfeeding, affects the growth of breast tissue. An imbalance of prolactin is observed in abortion. The active substances produced in the body in response to stress increase the breast's sensitivity to prolactin. That is why there is a sudden onset of breast cysts in women experiencing stress (discord in family relationships, divorce, death of a spouse, serious illness of children).
Breast cyst symptoms
The most common complaints of breast cysts are:
- detection by a woman in the breast tissue of a round, densely elastic formation with smooth walls (for cysts with a diameter of 1 cm or more);
- pain in the mammary glands. They can be periodic or constant, intensifying in the premenstrual period or continuing throughout the 2nd phase of the menstrual cycle;
- engorgement, breast thickening, more intense than usual premenstrual syndrome;
- change in the shape of the mammary gland with large cysts located close to the surface of the skin;
- yellowish or brown discharge from the nipple with cysts that have not yet lost contact with the duct.
Diagnosis of breast cysts. Self-examination plays an important role in the early diagnosis of cysts. Every woman, once every six months, should independently examine and palpate her own mammary glands in front of a mirror in a standing position. It is best to examine the glands within a week after the end of menstruation, when they are at their softest.
Of the special methods used in medicine to diagnose cysts, low-dose mammography (X-ray examination of the breast), thermography, and ultrasound are widely used. For cysts larger than 1 cm, a fine-needle biopsy is shown - under local anesthesia, the cyst is punctured with a special thin needle and the contents are taken for cellular analysis.
Is a cyst in the chest dangerous?
It is impossible to answer this question unequivocally. By their nature, mammary cysts are benign. This definition is true for cysts with smooth outer and inner walls. If the inner walls have a folded structure, partitions, growths, this can become the basis for the occurrence of malignant changes.
The development of cancer inside a cyst occurs in about 1% of cases. Cysts are not inherited. But the structure of the mammary gland, which is prone to the development of cysts, belongs to hereditary factors, therefore, if the mother has breast cysts, then there is a high probability of their development in her daughter.
Breast cyst treatment
The following methods are used in the treatment of cysts:
- psychotherapy to normalize the mental state, eliminate stress phenomena;
- the use of herbal sedatives;
- selection of adequate methods of contraception;
- diet (obesity treatment);
- to give up smoking;
- treatment of diseases of organs and systems involved in hormonal metabolism (diseases of the liver, intestines, kidneys, thyroid gland) (See also: Restoring hormonal levels with folk remedies);
- Spa treatment;
- conservative drug therapy;
- surgical methods in combination with conservative therapy (puncture of the cyst with pumping out its contents and introducing ozone or air into the cavity; sectoral resection) (See also: removal of a breast cyst by laparoscopy).
The author of the article: Volkov Dmitry Sergeevich | c. m. n. surgeon, phlebologist
Education: Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry (1996). In 2003 he received a diploma from the Educational and Scientific Medical Center of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation.