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Related to mastadenitis: glossorrhaphy, autocystoplasty


inflammation of the breast, occurring in a variety of forms and degrees of severity. fibrocystic disease of the breast (called also chronic cystic mastitis) is the most common disorder of the breast resulting from hormonal imbalance. It generally occurs in women between the ages of 35 and 50, is probably related to the activity of the ovaries, and is rare after menopause. Occasionally mastitis becomes so severe as to require a mastectomy.

Young girls whose breasts are maturing sometimes experience a painful swelling and hardness of the breast, known as puberty mastitis; this is rarely serious and usually resolves within a few weeks. Occasionally a cloudy liquid may be squeezed from the nipples. It is best to wear a brassiere that gives mild support but does not irritate.

A mild inflammation known as stagnation mastitis, or caked breast, may occur during the early lactation period. Glands of the breast can become congested with milk, with formation of painful lumps.

Acute mastitis may occur after childbirth, when it is known as puerperal mastitis. This is an infection that usually results from the presence of staphylococci, or occasionally streptococci, which enter through cracks in the skin of the breast, particularly of the nipples. The breasts are tender, red, and warm and become swollen and painful. The inflammation responds quickly to sulfonamide medicines or other antibiotics, but in some cases an abscess may develop which must be incised and drained.

A galactocele, or milk cyst, sometimes develops during lactation. It is probably caused by obstruction of a duct and can be removed after the baby has been weaned.

There are other types of infectious mastitis not related to lactation. Inflammation of the breast sometimes accompanies mumps, particularly in adults. Tuberculous mastitis usually occurs in young women and accompanies tuberculosis of the lungs or of the cervical lymph nodes. Treatment is with antibiotics, although surgery is sometimes necessary.

A condition that may occur at the time of menopause or later in women who have had children is mammary duct ectasia, or comedomastitis, which is distention of the milk-producing ducts caused by the caking of secretions; some of the material may be discharged from the nipple. Eventually this may develop into plasma cell mastitis. The breast may be tender and painful, with lump formation, nipple retraction, change in contour, and possibly a cloudy discharge from the nipple.
chronic cystic mastitis fibrocystic disease of the breast.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Inflammation of the breast.
Synonym(s): mastadenitis
[masto- + G. -itis, inflammation]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


Inflammation of the breast.
Synonym(s): mastadenitis.
[masto- + G. -itis, inflammation]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
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