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Breast Conditions

Potential breast conditions in young women:

A young woman may experience a number of changes in her breasts during puberty and adolescence as she becomes an adult. Some breast changes or conditions are related to her menstrual cycle, while others may occur at any time. While most breast conditions are benign (non-cancerous), it is important for young women to be aware of the need for breast self-examination and proper breast health, so that she may detect any problems. Some of the breast conditions young women may experience include the following:

Generalized breast lumpiness is known under many different names, such as "fibrocystic disease" and "fibroid breasts." Many of these are misnomers since physicians and researchers now believe that these are just part of the breast changes which many women undergo throughout the various stages of their lives. Many physicians feel that this term has become a catch-all phrase for general breast lumpiness.

Fibrocystic lumpiness is also described as "ropy" or "granular" and seems to become more obvious as a woman approaches middle age and the milk producing glandular tissue gives way to softer, fatty tissue. However, women with lumpy breasts may experience many other benign breast conditions.

Lumpiness in the breasts may make actual lumps harder to distinguish. Thus, it is important that women with lumpy breasts perform regular breast self-examinations and have regular physical examinations. Knowing the normal shape and feel of your own breasts is important, especially when performing examinations to detect any unusual breast changes.

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