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Breast diseases are a significant concern for individuals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and worldwide. As a leading cause of mortality and morbidity, it is essential to understand the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options available for breast diseases, including surgical interventions performed by skilled general surgery specialists.

In this article, we will explore the various types of breast diseases, their symptoms, and treatments, ultimately guiding you towards seeking medical assistance at The Royal Medical Center, a renowned facility for one-day surgery in the UAE.

Types of Breast Diseases

Breast diseases encompass a range of conditions affecting the breast tissue, including benign and malignant tumors. The primary types of breast diseases are:

1. Fibroadenoma:

A fibroadenoma is a non-cancerous lump that develops in the breast tissue. It's usually caused by abnormal growth of epithelial and connective tissue. 

Fibroadenomas are common in women under 30 and are often detected during a breast self-exam or a clinical breast exam. They may feel firm or rubbery to the touch and can be moved around easily. 

Fibroadenomas are typically painless and may not cause any symptoms, but they can increase in size over time.

2. Fibrocystic Breast Disease:

Fibrocystic breast disease is a benign condition characterized by breast pain, swelling, and lumpiness. It's often caused by hormonal fluctuations, particularly in premenopausal women. 

The symptoms can be cyclical, meaning they worsen just before menstruation and improve after it. 

Fibrocystic breast disease can cause breast tenderness, swelling, and the formation of cysts or fibrous tissue. 

While it's not cancerous, it can make breast tissue more dense, making it harder to detect abnormalities on a mammogram.

3. Breast Cysts:

A breast cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops in the breast tissue. It's usually benign and can cause pain, discomfort, or a lump in the breast. 

Breast cysts are common in women over 35 and can be detected during a breast self-exam or a clinical breast exam. They may feel soft or tender to the touch and can be moved around easily. 

Breast cysts can be filled with fluid or semisolid material and may need to be drained or removed if they're causing discomfort or concern.

4. Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS):

DCIS is a type of breast cancer that develops in the milk ducts of the breast. It's considered a non-invasive or 'in situ' cancer because it hasn't spread to surrounding tissue. 

DCIS often doesn't cause symptoms but can be detected on a mammogram. It's usually treated with surgery, radiation, or both. 

If left untreated, DCIS can progress to invasive breast cancer, which can spread to other parts of the body.

5. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC):

IDC is the most common type of breast cancer, accounting for about 80% of all breast cancer cases. It develops in the breast's milk ducts and spreads beyond the ducts to surrounding tissue. 

IDC can cause symptoms such as a lump, breast pain, skin changes, or nipple discharge. It's typically treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination. 

If not treated promptly and effectively, IDC can spread to other body parts, such as lymph nodes, bones, liver, or lungs.


Symptoms of Breast Diseases

Early detection is crucial in treating breast diseases effectively. Common symptoms to look out for include:

  • Breast lumps or thickening: A lump or thickening in the breast tissue that feels different from the surrounding tissue. It's crucial to note that not all breast lumps are cancerous, but it's essential to have any new lumps or thickenings evaluated by a healthcare professional.

  • Change in breast size or shape: Any noticeable change in the size or shape of the breast, such as an increase or decrease in size or a change in the breast's contour.

  • Skin dimpling or puckering: Dimpling or puckering of the skin on the breast, which can resemble an orange peel texture. It can be a sign of underlying breast tissue changes.

  • Nipple discharge or retraction: Any discharge from the nipple, including clear, yellow, bloody discharge, or nipple retraction, where the nipple becomes inverted or pulled inward.

  • Breast pain or tenderness: Pain or tenderness in the breast can be constant or occur only during certain times of the menstrual cycle.

  • Redness, swelling, or warmth around the breast: Any unusual redness, swelling, or warmth around the breast can indicate inflammation or infection.


Risk Factors for Breast Diseases

Certain factors can increase the likelihood of developing breast diseases. These include:

  • Family history of breast cancer

  • Genetic mutations (BRCA1 and BRCA2)

  • Early menstruation or late menopause

  • Obesity

  • Radiation exposure to the chest

  • Hormone replacement therapy


Diagnosis of Breast Diseases

Clinical evaluation, imaging tests, and biopsy are used to diagnose breast diseases. Standard diagnostic tools include:

  • Mammography: Low-energy X-rays are used to produce images of the breast tissue.

  • Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves are used to create images of the breast tissue.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A non-invasive test using strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images.

  • Biopsy: A surgical procedure to remove a sample of breast tissue for examination.


Treatment Options for Breast Diseases

Treatment for breast disease depends on the type and severity of the condition. Standard treatment options include:

1. Surgery:

  • Lumpectomy: A type of breast-conserving surgery where the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue are removed. This procedure aims to preserve the breast while eliminating the cancerous cells.

  • Mastectomy: A more extensive surgical procedure where the entire breast is removed. It may be necessary for larger tumors, multiple tumors, or in cases where the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

2. Radiation Therapy:

  • External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) is a non-invasive treatment where high-energy radiation beams are directed at the breast tissue outside the body. This type of radiation therapy can be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.

  • Internal Radiation Therapy (Brachytherapy) is a type of radiation therapy where a small amount of radioactive material is placed inside the breast tissue, usually in the form of seeds or implants. This treatment option is often used for early-stage breast cancer.

3. Chemotherapy:

  • Adjuvant Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used in addition to surgery or radiation therapy to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

  • Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used before surgery to shrink the tumor, making it easier to remove.

  • Palliative Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients with advanced breast cancer.

4. Hormone Therapy:

  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs): Medications like tamoxifen that block the effects of estrogen on breast cancer cells, reducing their growth.

  • Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs): Medications like anastrozole that reduce the production of estrogen, depriving cancer cells of the hormone they need to grow.

5. Targeted Therapy:

  • HER2-Targeted Therapy: Medications like trastuzumab target the HER2 protein, which is overexpressed in some breast cancers.

  • CDK4/6 Inhibitors: Medications like palbociclib that target specific proteins involved in cell division, slowing down the growth of cancer cells.


Breast diseases are a significant health concern that requires attention and action. Early detection and intervention are critical in treating breast diseases effectively. Delayed detection can lead to advanced stages of the disease, making treatment more challenging and reducing survival rates.

The Royal Medical Center is committed to providing exceptional care and treatment for breast diseases, guiding patients toward a healthier and happier life. Don't hesitate to seek medical assistance – take the first step towards a breast disease-free life.

Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
Viewed 4284 times
Posted on : Thursday, June 20, 2024  
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