Mastopathy is a benign, hormone-dependent change in the glandular tissue in the breast. Symptoms are primarily noticeable before and during the menstrual period.
The term mastopathy includes different benign changes in the mammary glands, such as nodules, swellings or cysts. Cysts are described separately in the breast cyst section.
Mastopathy occurs as a result of an imbalance between the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. The body produces too much oestrogen, but lacks progesterone at the same time. This stimulates the mammary glands, leading to swelling and inflammatory reactions.
Depending on the level of the disease, the symptoms of mastopathy can vary in severity. Characteristic symptoms are pain, pulling and/or a feeling of tightness in the breast shortly before the menstrual period. Swellings, nodules or cysts are sometimes palpable and fluid is occasionally secreted from the nipples.
Therefore, any changes in the breast should be examined by a doctor so that possible signs of breast cancer are not missed. Mastopathy is diagnosed on the basis of the patient's medical history and by palpating the breast. An ultrasound examination is often carried out in addition to this. If there are unclear or suspicious findings, a mammography is performed.
The causes of mastopathy cannot be treated. Instead, the treatment focuses on reducing the symptoms. with pain relief and gels or tablets containing gestagen. Plant-based preparations are also used. Cysts can be punctured and drained with a hollow needle.
In rare cases, the patient may be suffering from proliferating mastopathy, which contains growths of atypical mammary gland cells. Proliferating mastopathy must be closely monitored as the risk of developing breast cancer is higher.
An ultrasound examination is generally carried out for diagnostic purposes, along with a mammography on occasion.