FACT #1: It is perfectly normal for your Tips to discharge either milk (when you are pregnant or nursing a baby) or a clear colourless liquid when fondled or manipulated especially during love making. This therefore should not alarm you. However, you should talk to your doctor if milk is discharged when you are not pregnant or nursing a baby or have stopped nursing a baby by at least 2 weeks. This is very important because of a condition called galactorrhoea that is often caused by a brain tumor, prolactinoma. Other causes of galactorrhoea abound but prolactinomas are our greatest cause of worry.
FACT #2: From the moment you start ovulating until the last day of your menstruation, it is very normal for your breasts to become engorged, heavy and even painful. This is often due to that fact that once ovulation starts, the woman’s body starts preparing pregnancy in the event that a pregnancy occurs. So do not be alarmed. Don’t panic. It is just normal physiology happening, it will resolve itself naturally or if the pain is too discomforting, popping two tablets of paracetamol helps provide relief.
FACT #3: It is absolutely NOT normal to find lumps/masses, of any kind, in your breast(s). The normal human breast is made of breast tissue which is primarily responsible for the shape and for milk production. The breast tissue is uniform to touch. So it becomes abnormal when you palpate your breasts and find masses or lumps there. Although, most of the masses are benign, it is still an abnormal finding. Contact your doctor as soon as you discover lumps/masses in your breast(s).
Diseased right breast.
FACT #4: The two breasts are slightly unequal in 9 out of every 10 women with the left breast often appearing larger than the right one. This called breast asymmetry and it is a normal occurrence in most women. Usually, this difference in size is not noticed until the two breasts are closely observed.
NB: The breast asymmetry talked about is normal and not pathologic. However some women who have large lumps in one breast or have a breast cancer in one breast can present with noticeably asymmetric breasts. This should not be confused with the normal.
FACT #5: It is normal for the breasts to lose their shape and firmness and become floppy as you age, especially after menopause. This is often due to the decrease in the reproductive hormone oestrogen after menopause. Absence of this hormone makes th skin become dry and less elastic, hence the resulting sagging. Most women who are able to afford Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) opt for it or go for plastic surgery, both of which significantly make them have fuller and firmer breasts than women who allow nature do its thing without interference.
FACT #6: The mere act of gently massaging the breast can help prevent breast cancer, according to a research conducted and published in 2013. This is often referred to as Breast-Self Massage (BSM) and it works on the principle that massaging the breasts helps stimulate the growth of normal breast tissue growth, hence preventing the growth of cancerous cells. So you may want spend a few more minutes in the bath massaging your breasts each you have a bath.
FACT #7: It is NOT normal for your breast(s) to discharge blood, pus or any other strangely coloured substance. In fact, if your Tips are discharging anything other than breast milk or the traditional clear, colourless liquid, contact your doctor immediately! I repeat…immediately! This could be a sign of a malignancy. Don’t wait until it is too late before you discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Breast cancer is killing hundreds of thousands of women annually just because they were diagnosed late when it is virtually impossible to treat it. DON’T BE A VICTIM.