Is Breast Asymmetry A Sign Of Cancer?

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Women have also been conscious of their bodies for ages. Whether they be teens or be grannies they’ll still try to maintain themselves. For them, everything should be perfect. They notice each and every flaw and try to correct it if possible. Such a misconception flaw is having asymmetric breast size. Some women do worry and become stressed. It is important for every woman to know there is no need to be worried if you’re having asymmetrical breasts.

Are Asymmetrical Breasts Normal?

Breast Asymmetry is defined as a variation in the size or shape of one breast from another one. It is often noticed in puberty. During adolescence it very obvious of one side breast to develop faster than the other. Though many things come in the matching set, breasts are usually not among those matching sets. It is very common to have different size or shape or even the position of the breasts. Furthermore, there is no need of worrying even if the nipples are not exactly the same as each other.

asymmetrical breasts

In most cases breast asymmetry is normal and one may observe that the two sides of the body are slightly different from each other. A drastic change in breast symmetry is less likely to be seen.

Can It Be A Sign Of Cancer?

Usually, this is not a matter of worrying but it always advised to have regular mammography to keep a check on the breast abnormalities. Any unexpected unusual change should be checked by a doctor. Following changes are to be considered :

  • A lump near the axilla or armpit
  • A lump in or around the breast
  • Changes in nipple like it may be inverted
  • An unusual change in breast size or shape of the breast
  • Fluid discharge from the nipple
  • Redness and itching around the breast

Causes 

Mostly hormonal changes are the reason for changes in breast size at one point in a woman’s life. This point could be :

  • Any specific point in the menstrual cycle
  • Around the menopause
  • During pregnancy or lactation period
  • Use of oral contraceptives for birth control

Breast size usually returns back to normal when change is due to hormones. These can be felt as lumpy or fatty tissue.

Other than hormonal changes following also affect the size and shape of the breast :

  • Tubular breast: also known as breast hypoplasia, it can occur in one or even both the breasts
  • Amastia: it is defined as abnormal development of breast tissue, areola or nipple
  • Poland Syndrome: In this syndrome chest muscles do not develop properly and this can be unilateral.

Mammogram Results And Additional Testing

It is common to have different-sized breasts but they are usually similar in density and structure. A mammogram helps in identifying the asymmetry in the density of the breast. There are four categories under which the mass is classified :

  1. Asymmetry: Only one projection is used for evaluation and so these one-dimensional images are less reliable. Overlapping structures are not seen easily. Therefore it is advised to go for a three-dimensional imaging test.
  2. Focal asymmetry: these have two mammographic views of the density.
  3. Global asymmetry: These usually result in hormonal changes and normal variation.
  4. Developing asymmetry: This shows there is a vast change observed in past and current testing. The density could have increased or new lump could be observed. This gives rise to suspicion of potential malignancy.

Sometimes mammograms indicating asymmetry are not sufficient doctor requires more images for comparison. 

Breast Ultrasound 

It helps in the diagnosis of abnormal findings of the mammogram images. If a mass is benign or fluid-filled cyst ultrasound image is beneficial.

Breast MRI 

Used to detect breast cancer or other abnormalities. It is done after a confirmed biopsy. It is helpful specifically in women with hereditary or a history of breast cancer in the family.

Biopsy

The best way of determining the cancerous breast tissue.

Conclusion

It is very common for a woman to have asymmetrical breasts and should have no issue of concern. However major or drastic changes in size, shape or density of breast should not be neglected as these are an indication of something wrong. It is recommended to go for regular breast examinations. 

References :

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1557716/

https://www.healthline.com/health/breast-asymmetry

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321823.php

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