Chapter 2.8 - Breast Lumps
In this chapter, Dr. Donache presents Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the prevention and treatment of the different types of noncancerous, or benign, breast lumps.
The chapter includes an overview of the disease's symptoms, conventional treatment methods, and alternative therapies, including Bio-Energetic therapies, Bodywork and Movement therapies, and Mental / Emotional treatments.
This chapter is taken from Dr. Donache's upcoming book, Finding Balance - Integrating Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the Prevention of the Top 30 Diseases in America. Each section of chapter 2, which describes alternative treatments for each of the top diseases, is available for download on this website.
Table of Contents
Glossary of Terms Used in this Chapter
Additional Disease Descriptions and Treatments Available for Download
Table of Contents
- ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT
- BREAST LUMPS
- CONVENTIONAL APPROACHES
- Self-Management: Preventing Problems
- The Breast Self Examination
- Importance of Early Detection
- Medical Treatment Programs
- Diet, Exercise and Weight Reduction
- Birth Control Pills
- Health Insurance Companies
- C.A.M. THERAPIES
- BIO-ENERGETIC THERAPIES
BODYWORK AND MOVEMENT THERAPIES
- Nutrition and Supplements
- Enzymatic Therapies
- Rainforest and Western Herbs
- Rainforest Herbs
- Western Herbs
- Homeopathic Remedies
- Essential Oils
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
- Therapeutic Bodywork and Massage
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Hatha Yoga Postures
- PRODUCT ORDERING INFORMATION
- GLOSSARY OF TERMS
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For many women, discovering a lump in the breast brings to mind only one thought: cancer.
Some growths do turn out to be cancerous, or malignant. But the vast majority of lumps in the breast are noncancerous, or benign. The most common sign of a benign breast change is a lump that is palpable, which means it can be felt. A benign lump also may be nonpalpable. A nonpalpable growth can be detected through techniques such as a mammogram, a special x-ray of the breast, or an ultrasound, a process that uses sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body. A benign lump may or may not cause pain. Actually, fat, glands, and ducts make most women's breasts lumpy to a certain degree. Within the breast are glands grouped into lobes. Small tubes, or ducts, carry milk from the lobes to the nipple. surrounding the glands and ducts are fat and fibrous tissue. A system of blood vessels transports nutrients and hormones to the breast. Women with very lumpy breasts may have fibrocystic condition, which is benign and may be the result of normal hormonal changes during a woman's reproductive years. Although it can be painful at times, fibrocystic condition usually requires no special treatment. Some fibrocystic lumps are simply hardened areas of tissue, whereas others may be fluid-filled cysts. A cyst near the surface may feel either soft or hard to the touch. A single lump is different from the general lumpiness of fibrocystic condition. Several kinds of distinct benign lumps can occur in the breast. A fibroadenoma is round and rubbery to the touch and can occur anywhere in the breast. These benign lumps usually appear in women under the age of 40. An intraductal papilloma is a small, benign growth that develops in a duct, usually near the nipple. Calcifications, or calcium deposits in the breast, are not lumps; they cannot be felt and are only detectable by mammography. Some breast lumps may occur in association with normal hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. In many cases, your doctor may recommend a biopsy, in which a sample of the lump is removed and examined to determine if it is malignant or benign.
During an excisional biopsy, the doctor makes an incision at the site of the mass and removes the lump and surrounding tissue. In fine needle biopsy, a thin needle is used to draw out cells from the mass. If the presence of a great deal of fluid indicates a cyst, the doctor might drain the fluid through the needle to collapse the cyst. If the lump is solid, the doctor might perform a core needle biopsy, using a needle with a small cutting edge to obtain a tiny sample of tissue. Biopsy samples are then examined under a microscope to determine whether the lump is benign or malignant.
Depending on the nature of the lump, you may be referred to a radiologist, for mammography, or to a surgeon, for further evaluation and possibly removal of the lump. Even if benign breast changes require no treatment, they may still cause pain or tenderness. Some patients find that it helps to avoid caffeinated foods and drinks, such as chocolate, tea, cola, and coffee.
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Glossary of Terms
- The circle of darker skin surrounding the nipple.
- A procedure in which a sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to determine whether the specimen is benign or malignant.
- Calcium deposits in the breast, usually found in women over the age of 50; usually seen on a mammogram.
- Core Needle Biopsy
- A procedure in which a hollow needle with a small cutting edge is used to obtain a tiny piece of tissue that will be examined for the presence of cancer.
- Non-cancerous, fluid-filled masses sometimes found in the breast.
- Tubelike passageways; in the breast, ducts transport milk to the nipple.
- Excisional Biopsy
- A surgical procedure in which a doctor makes an incision at the site of the lump and removes the entire lump and some surrounding tissue.
- A benign breast tumor that is round and rubbery to the touch.
- Fibrocystic Condition
- A benign condition, frequently painful, in which the breasts have a lumpy texture; sometimes called fibrocystic disease, lump-bumpy breast or cystic breasts.
- Fine Needle Biopsy
- A procedure using a narrow needle and a syringe to extract cells from an area in the breast for microscopic examination.
- Substances produced by a gland or tissue and released into the bloodstream to have a specific effect on tissues elsewhere.
- Intraductal Papilloma
- A benign growth that develops in a milk duct, usually near the nipple; often causes a discharge from the nipple.
- An x-ray of the breast.
- Needle Aspiration
- A procedure in which a thin needle is used to drain the fluid from a cyst.
- Undetectable by touch.
- Detectable by touch.
- A procedure that uses the recorded reflection of high frequency sound waves to visualize internal body structure; fluid-filled cysts a re readily seen.
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