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Breast Health 101: Mammary Oil Cysts, Occurrences And How To Deal With Such

After a few months of getting anxious with some growing lumps you palpated on your breasts, you are finally through with it. Well, you have just finished your breast surgery, but a few weeks to months skip had just passed and now you are feeling all worried again with these new lumps growing on your breasts. “How are these cysts formed and why am I having new lumps growing again on my breasts? Are these formations indicating cancer?” — We look into the idea of having oil cysts. We get to know them first before we end up hysterical with having a breast cancer diagnosis.

Oftentimes after the tissues of the breasts experience injury or undergo surgical procedures such as reconstruction or mass removal, oil cysts tend to appear and be felt. These are lumps filled with fluid which can be palpated around the areas of your breast, and may feel smooth and squishy, and painful at times, especially when they are situated at areas often pressed with clothing or limbs, or if their size stretches out too much skin.

Oil cysts are harmless for the fact that they are benign growths. As the breast tissue undergoes physical stress by means of injury or surgical procedures, tissues of fat may die while they attempt to form scars. Such occurrence is termed as fat necrosis. Fat necrosis usually happens to women who have very large breasts. Some fat cells, instead of forming scar tissues, die and release their lipid contents, which then form a greasy-fluid collection. The death of fat cells can either lead to the formation of a hard scar tissue since the body undergoes repair through the replacement of damaged tissues with such material, or a collection of melted fat, which eventually accumulates in one area of the breast tissue. The dump of fat component attracts calcium around it and the process of calcification occurs, giving it an “eggshell of calcium”.

The confirmation or diagnosis of such condition can be made through tests. Mammography and Ultrasound (UTZ) are two ways to validate the occurrence of oil cysts. Oil cysts generally have a clear outline. These cysts appear well-defined in round or ovoid shape and have an “eggshell calcification”.

How can I then deal with the problem? Worry no more. Oil cysts are benign lumps, which means, they don’t grow and cause you cancer. You may have the option of leaving the growth alone as such type of cyst may just shrink on its own, or you may resort to a breast cyst aspiration procedure if the cyst causes you physical pain and discomforts already. A procedure on breast cyst aspiration can be done by the physician, with the insertion of a needle to the mass in order to extract the fluid out from the structure.

Oil Cysts are safe and cause no harm, except when they are too large or situated at areas near limbs. You have the option of leaving it alone or scheduling for an aspiration procedure. There is no need to be anxious and all hysterical; just know about the condition and stay calm, and deal with the “oily” problem in the best way that you can.

Breast Health – Dispelling Fears

(The information contained in this article does not constitute medical advice; please consult a physician if you have questions about breast health issues raised in this article.)
The primary, if not number one, concern of American women is that they will develop breast cancer. At least that was the biggest fear of those who answered a government survey in 2005. Dread of the disease lurks in the hearts of those who have witnessed their friends and relatives die of it.  Adverse breast health also has a psychosocial component, fueled by fears of loss of femininity, beauty, youthful appearance, sex appeal, marital intimacy and other factors valued in Western culture.
Women need not fear the disease as they have in the past. I had it at 43, and again at 52. Now at 56 I am cancer free, living a full life. Not only do I garden, enjoy my sons, and write, but I also volunteer for the American Cancer Society and the National Lymphedema Network, an organization dedicated to helping people with lymphedema, a swelling that can be caused by cancer surgery or radiation. Helping others takes my mind off my plight. 

While in 2009 new cases of invasive breast cancer in the U.S. are predicted by the American Cancer Society to be 192,370 and deaths 40,170, the good news is that fewer women are dying of the disease than in prior years. New treatments have revolutionized patient care, the result of multiple clinical trials testing new chemo regimens and targeted therapies such as Herceptin, Tykerb, Avastin, and aromatase inhibitors. Early detection also plays a role: the sooner the disease is found, the sooner it can be treated before it spreads. Mammograms, clinical checkups, and self-exams are important prevention tools, especially starting at age 40 if no other risks exist.
A closer look at breast health reveals that while some risk factors can’t be changed, including age, genetics, race, and family history, some lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. One proven factor appears to be obesity. If a woman falls within that category (a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or more), she should try to lose weight. Another factor in the breast-cancer-risk equation is exercise: swimming, walking, climbing and jogging exemplify the kind of aerobic activities that are beneficial to breast health.
Women who never bore children, and those who gave birth to their first child after 30, face a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.  Being pregnant multiple times in her twenties improves breast health for women, perhaps because pregnancy reduces the total number of lifetime menstrual cycles.
Those using birth control pills have a slightly greater risk of breast cancer than women who never used them.  A doctor can elaborate on the risks and benefits of birth control pills.
Another factor shown to increase the risk of breast cancer is long-term use of progesterone hormone therapy (PHT) or estrogen replacement therapy (ERT). Again, a knowledgeable physician should be able to discuss the pros and cons of using these types of hormone therapies. One suggestion might be to use the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time necessary.
Breast-feeding may slightly lower breast cancer risk, particularly if it lasts 1½ to 2 years. This could be because breast-feeding lowers a woman’s total number of menstrual periods, as does pregnancy.
Studies have shown that use of alcohol increases the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Women who consume two to five drinks daily have about 1½ times the risk of women who don’t drink.  For optimum breast health experts suggest limiting drinks to one a day, preferably only two to three times a week.
If a close family member had breast cancer, the woman should make sure she is monitored more closely, and ask her doctor if she should be checked for the BRCA-1 or -2 gene and if she is a good candidate for daily tamoxifen or some other preventative drug, or even for preventative surgery. 
It is important to remember that while breast health should be monitored regularly, there is no need to obsess over it or fear it to the point that activities like work and parenting get shoved aside. In other words, we should enjoy life! A breast cancer diagnosis is not the end of the world. 
Women are encouraged to take charge of their lives and dispel the myths that might be keeping them paralyzed in fear of their breast health going awry. 

Breast Massage for Greater Breast Health and Cancer Prevention by Moving the Lymph

Gentle therapeutic breast massage and lymphatic breast care are ideal for maintaining healthy breasts, reducing pain, swelling and other breast problems. Research shows that Regular massage can help prevent and detect breast cancer. According to Susun S. Weed, author of “Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way,” breast massage helps to prevent breast cancer by improving the immune system and moving lymph fluids through lymph nodes under the arms.

Research indicates that our lifestyle choices create and support our breast health as they do overall health and wellness. Food and supplements, exercise, eliminating exposure to toxins, eliminating smoking, wearing well fitted non-underwire bras, reducing stress and balancing hormones are a great start. What isn’t discussed in prevention and general health is breast massage and maintaining healthy breast lymph.

The lymphatic system is part your immune system.

The lymph (blood plasma and white blood cells) circulates through the body tissues transporting debris and toxins from tissue to the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes then enable the body to rid itself of these toxins.

Since breast tissue is well-supplied with lymphatics but lack sources of external compression (such as muscles or strong overlying fascia) to promote the natural lymphatic drainage found in most other body tissues, fluid has a tendency to accumulate in the breast. The light-touch specific approach of Lymph Drainage Therapy provides an ideal solution to fluid stagnation.

Lymph Drainage Therapy is an appropriate and practical gentle, light-touch, non-invasive breast massage technique that can be used by trained therapist for specific conditions and indications relating to breast care.

Lymphatic Breast Massage can help:

Mentrual Cycles:

Breast pain (mastodynia, mastalgia or mammalgia)
Swollen breasts

Breast Feeding or Pregnancy:

Sore nipples (transient or chronic)
Inflammation or infection: mastedeneitis, mastitis, yeast infection, infected Montgomery gland, etc
Milk stasis: plugged duct, filled duct, plugged nipple pore
Bruise, wound (nipples aereola, breast), fissures, ulceration, hemorrhages
Dermatitis: eczema, psoriasis
Stretch marks

Fibrocycstic Breast/ Non-malignant Lump:

Many nonmalignant lumps may resolve quickly with Lymph Drainage Therapy

Pre/Post Surgical Lymphatic Drainage and Cosmetic Applications

Breast implant problems, post mastectomy, post lumpectomy, post tram flap, post lat flap, post breast reduction
Improvement in local venolymphatic circulation, removal of toxins, tissue reoxygenation, regeneration of skin tissue, skin tonification, and mastoptosis (breast sagging)
Scars (acute and chronic)

Other Applications Related to Breast Health:

Decrease hot flashes
Fibrocystic Breasts
Swollen lymph nodes
Early breast cancer detection
Self care drainage techniques given by your therapist (self massage, dry body brushing, change in type of bra worn)
Thermography has detected metabolic changes within the breast tissue or lymphatic congestion

What to Expect from Breast Massage:

Your Lymphatic Drainage therapist has an accurate knowledge of the specific anatomy, physiology and related hand techniques involved so the practitioner can attune to the precise rhythm, direction, depth and quality of the lymph flow. Heavy pressure will NOT be applied to breast tissue. Deep pressure may not only hurt (the client) but may destroy the few suspensory ligaments (Cooper’s ligament) and elastic fibers which prevent sagging (mastoptosis).

Whatever lymph territory the therapist is working on, the lymph will be sent to the group of lymph nodes responsible for draining of that area. In the case of the breast, most of the lymphatics (over 90%) drain to the armpit lymph nodes. Lymphatics will usually always be softly stimulated in the neck, armpits (axillas), abdomen, breast mammary tissue, retromammary space (behind the breast), groin, and ribcage when receiving a breast massage session.

Our therapists respect and honor your trust at all times. Proper draping is always provided for our client’s comfort and security during breast massage. In fact, we use a specialized modality of lymphatic drainage massage that does not require physical touch. Instead we use a tool that helps to massage and move lymph fluid in both the superficial and deeper lymphatic system. This allows us to offer a pain free, pressure free, hands free breast massage. Unless there are scars on the breast that require work, with a clients permission, we may work more directly on the breast.

Clients are required to sign a release form given our therapists permission to conduct breast work.

Clients may always stop a massage for any reason at any time during the treatment process and this request will be honored with no questions asked.