What is adenosis of the mammary glands?

Every fourth case of malignant tumors occurs in breast cancer. This disease claims thousands of lives every year. However, in many cases, its dire consequences can be prevented with timely diagnosis and competent treatment of diseases that are the precursors of cancers. Among the ailments that entail the degeneration of cells into a malignant tumor, mastopathy is distinguished. It affects both the ducts of the mammary glands and their lobules. Depending on the characteristics of the development and location of the affected areas, various types of mastopathy are distinguished.

One of them is breast adenosis. In 45-50 percent of cases, adenosis does not bring pain or discomfort to a woman. This significantly complicates the process of timely diagnosis of the disease. To avoid the development of breast cancer, regular self-examination, and a visit to a mammologist at least once every six months or a year are recommended.

What it is?

Excessive growth of tissues and cells in the human body, regardless of nature and causes, is called adenosis. Often, diseases of glandular structures and lymph nodes have a similar name. Adenosis of the mammary gland is a subspecies of mastopathy and has a fibrous form. This form of the disease develops against the background of the excessive proliferation of epithelial cells. The disease affects the lobules of the gland, leading to the development of swelling, congestion, and inflammation. In the structure of a benign tumor, glandular elements prevail. The most common ailment among:

  • middle-aged and older women;
  • girls at the end of puberty;
  • in pregnant women in the first three months of pregnancy.

Disease types

Subsequent therapy of the disease is largely determined by its belonging to a particular species. There are several types of diseases, which differ in their manifestations. Allocate:

  • Apocrine. It is formed due to large nodular formations localized in the lobules of the breast. They often have the same shape and boundaries. At the same time, epithelial cells grow, an excessive increase in the cytological nucleus, and the appearance of granular formations are noted.
  • Ductal. The tumor in this case is formed from tubular formations that have a single shape with a lobule of the mammary gland. In the ducts, there is a doubling of the epithelial layer.
  • Sclerosing. It is the smallest possible formation and does not lead to damage to the epithelial layer. However, in some cases, it is characterized by a significant proliferation of fibrous tissue.
  • Adenoepithelial. It affects the cells of the epithelium of the mammary glands, causing their proliferation.
  • Microglandular. A rare form that is devoid of symptoms and is discovered by chance.

Causes of occurrence

Breast adenoma occurs for reasons that are not surely established by modern medicine. It is known that the main factor leading to the development of the disease is the violation of the hormonal background in the woman’s body. This situation can be caused by the following reasons:

  • fluctuations in the hormonal background, provoked by the onset of puberty;
  • restructuring of hormones associated with the onset of a climatic pause;
  • pregnancy or childbirth;
  • emotional shock or overstrain;
  • stressful situations, depression;
  • excessive physical activity;
  • work at night;
  • taking oral contraceptives;
  • abortion;
  • hormone therapy.

The mechanism of development of the disease

Adenosis of the mammary glands develops in connection with hormonal effects. The negative impact is exerted by:

  • Estrogen. Actively affects the onset of puberty. Takes part in the development and formation of the tissues of the ducts of the mammary glands. It is one of the leading components for the connective tissue of the breast, has a beneficial effect on the growth of its cells.
  • During the period of active fertility, estrogen, and progesterone act. Progesterone serves as a regulator in the formation of tissues and alveoli of the mammary gland.
  • Prolactin. The hormone is necessary for the production of colostrum by the glands has a stimulating effect on its secretion and maturation. Stimulates the growth of breast tissue and participates in the development of breast cells. Provokes the emergence of estrogen receptors.

Normally, all these hormones do not adversely affect a woman’s health. However, in the case of excessive proliferation of the receptor apparatus, the development of adenosis of the mammary gland occurs.


Adenoma of the mammary gland manifests itself as follows:

  • the appearance of painful sensations or discomfort in the chest area;
  • heaviness and swelling of the glands;
  • swelling and puffiness;
  • redness;
  • excessive nipple sensitivity;
  • excretion of colostrum;
  • the manifestation of the vascular network;
  • increased breast temperature;
  • deterioration in general health;
  • weakness, loss of performance;
  • fast fatiguability;
  • irritability.

In most cases, symptoms are absent or very mild.


Adenoma of the mammary gland in many cases does not reveal itself. This is because the pain in half of the cases may be absent. To detect the disease and take measures for its treatment, the following types of research are used:

  • Ultrasound procedure. It is the diagnosis of adenosis by detecting education, obtaining information about the size and boundaries of a benign tumor. However, ultrasound does not always provide a complete picture of the course of the disease.
  • Mammography. The priority research method is not only adenosis but also other diseases affecting the mammary glands. Provides deeper and more accurate results. Allows you to assess the location of a benign formation, its size, and boundaries. Also, it provides insight into the dynamics of tumor development.
  • Histological examination. It is a tissue sample that allows you to understand what it is – cancer or benign growth.
  • Laboratory research. Mainly aimed at identifying the level of hormonal levels. They allow you to identify and evaluate deviations from normal indicators to prescribe further therapy.

The most accurate results are obtained using a comprehensive survey. A mammologist will help you choose the exact diagnostic course.


The following treatment options are possible:

  • Surgical intervention. When single nodules are found, as a rule, they do not resort to radical surgical interventions. However, the patient must be monitored regularly by a specialist without fail. The minimum number of visits to a mammologist per year is 2. If a sclerosing form is detected, then it must be surgically excised. The operation can be performed under local and general anesthesia, based on indications. After the removal of a benign tumor, pain relievers must be taken orally.
  • In many cases, the use of hormonal therapy gives positive results. The use of oral contraceptives or progestational drugs is generally recommended. On average, positive results are noted after 50-60 days of treatment.
  • Homeopathic remedies. These medicines are made from natural ingredients. They are capable of providing significant therapeutic benefits.
  • Vitamin complexes. They are prescribed for normalizing metabolism and enhancing immunity. Do not use it without the agreement of your doctor.
  • Diet food. The right food will not only allow you to recover in the shortest possible time but will also have a generally beneficial effect on the body. It is necessary to stop eating fried, fatty, spicy foods. Do not get carried away with smoked or salty foods. They are capable of causing fluid stagnation and swelling.

The disease causes discomfort to a woman and may become the first news of impending breast cancer. The disease develops without pronounced symptoms. To prevent it, all women, from a very young age, need to carefully monitor their health. However, it should be noted that adenosis rarely degenerates into a malignant tumor. In many cases, for example, during pregnancy, the disease goes away on its own.

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After an in-depth review of the strongest available science on the benefits and harms of screening mammography, as well as input from the public and health care professionals during the public comment period, the Task Force issued its final recommendations on breast cancer screening on January 12, 2016. You can learn more about how the Task Force’s final recommendations converge with other evidence-based guidelines in an editorial published in Annals of Internal Medicine.


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