Breast health evaluation and management

Breast health evaluation and management

Breast health is a vital aspect of overall well-being for individuals of all genders. "Whether it's a harmless lump or a more serious concern, knowing about breast issues is key," says Delfino Estevan Lorenzo, MD, FACS, General Surgery at South 1st Specialty & Pediatrics in Austin. "One of my roles as a surgeon is to understand your breast disorder and to guide you through the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment."

Common breast disorders include:

  • Breast cancer: Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the breast grow out of control. Early detection through mammography screenings can significantly improve treatment outcomes.
  • Mastitis: Often associated with breastfeeding, mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue, leading to swelling, redness, and pain. Prompt treatment with antibiotics is crucial to preventing complications.
  • Intraductal papilloma: A non-cancerous growth within the milk ducts, often causing nipple discharge. While usually benign, they may require removal if they cause symptoms or if there's concern for malignancy.
  • Fibroadenomas: Solid, smooth, firm, non-cancerous lumps composed of glandular and connective tissue. Although usually harmless, they may be removed if they cause pain or concern.
  • Cysts: Fluid-filled sacs that can develop within the breast tissue, causing tenderness and discomfort. While typically benign, they may require drainage if they become painful or large.

Causes of breast disorders

Breast disorders can arise from various factors, including hormonal fluctuations, genetic predisposition, lifestyle choices, and environmental influences. Understanding individual risk factors can help in prevention and early detection.

Evaluation and diagnosis

Diagnosis of breast disorders typically involves a combination of clinical examination by your doctor, imaging studies such as mammography, ultrasound, and MRI, as well as tissue biopsy for definitive diagnosis. Early detection through regular breast self-exams and screening mammograms is key to successful management.

Treatment approaches

Treatment for breast disorders varies depending on the specific condition and its severity. Options may include medication, drainage of fluid-filled cysts, antibiotics for infections, minimally invasive surgical excision of tumors, or a combination of these approaches. In cases of breast cancer, treatment may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapies.

Recovery from surgery

After breast surgery, individuals can expect a period of recovery, during which they may experience discomfort, swelling, and restricted activity. Complications such as infection, bleeding, and changes in breast sensation are also possible. Adhering to post-operative care instructions and attending follow-up appointments is crucial for optimal recovery and monitoring.

Risks of breast surgery

Breast surgery, while generally safe, carries inherent risks, including infections, bleeding, scarring, and anesthesia risks.

Discussing these risks with your surgeon and following pre and post-operative instructions are crucial for minimizing complications and achieving optimal outcomes.

Benign tumors: To remove or not to remove?

The decision to remove benign breast tumors depends on various factors, including the size, location, symptoms, and individual preferences. While some benign tumors may be left untreated if they're not causing discomfort or posing a risk, others may warrant removal for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

"Take charge of your breast health; stay aware, keep up with regular screenings, and reach out if anything seems off," says Dr. Lorenzo. "Remember, early detection saves lives." Learn more about ARC General Surgeons and breast care.

Make an appointment today

ARC General Surgeons have specialized knowledge and experience related to diagnosis, pre-operative, operative, and post-operative management of surgery, combined with a patient-centered philosophy of coordinated care. At ARC, we provide the most up-to-date surgical and treatment options available.

Take the first step towards a healthier you and schedule an appointment today. Dr. Lorenzo is accepting new patients of all ages at South 1st Specialty & Pediatrics in Austin. Call 512-443-1311 or make an appointment today through ARC MyChart or ARC Help Me Book.

Tags: Breast Disorders