By | June 8, 2022

Mastopathy is a benign change in glandular tissue in the female breast. Symptoms include swelling and tenderness in the breasts that often accompany menstruation, or palpable lumps and cysts in the breasts.

What is mastopathy?

Mastopathy – also known as mammary dysplasia – describes changes in the glandular body of the female breast that are benign. More than half of all women between the ages of 35 and 50 suffer from mastopathy, making this disease one of the most common breast diseases in women. For cml – chronic myeloid leukemia, please visit

Women under the age of 25 and women going through the menopause are only affected in a few exceptional cases. Depending on the nature of the change in glandular tissue, several forms of mastopathy are distinguished:

Fibrous mastopathy: vitreous connective tissue replaces the layer of tissue that lines the inside of the gland ducts

Fibrocystic mastopathy: the connective tissue increases and gland ducts expand

Fibroadenomatous mastopathy: glandular tissue cells multiply like tumors and can be filled with pus, blood or secretions

In addition, mastopathy is divided into three groups with different degrees of severity of tissue changes, which doctors use to assess the risk of breast cancer.


The causes of mastopathy have not yet been fully clarified. It is likely that sufferers have an imbalance between the hormones estrogen and progesterone involved in the menstrual cycle. Women with proven mastopathy have too much estrogen, this excess is the cause of changes in the mammary gland tissue.

As a rule, sexually mature women develop mastopathy. When women go through menopause, the symptoms usually go away automatically with the associated hormonal changes. Several possible causes can be named for the excess of estrogen, such as other hormonal diseases of the thyroid gland, which can also be the cause of the mastopathy.

Typical Symptoms & Signs

  • chest pain
  • feeling of tightness in the chest
  • lumps in the breast
  • Abnormal mammary gland secretion

Diagnosis & History

If there is a suspicion of an existing mastopathy, an anamnesis must first be carried out. The family doctor will refer the affected women to the gynecologist, who will examine the breasts. If there is mastopathy, the doctor will feel irregularities in the body of the gland when touching it, and possible lumps in the breast can be easily felt.

Usually, this finding is more pronounced before the onset of menstrual bleeding than after it. In order to confirm the diagnosis, an ultrasound examination of the breast is then usually carried out. Mammography can provide further information about whether mastopathy is present, as it also shows smaller tissue calcifications.

If calcifications are found during mammography, they are removed and the tissue is examined under a microscope. If cysts have formed in the breast, they are punctured and the contents examined for changes in the cells. In cases where fluid leaks from the nipple, the secretion is examined more closely to clarify the causes.


Mastopathy can cause pain and severe swelling of breast tissue. During breastfeeding, mastopathy can cause the milk ducts to become clogged. This can lead to stagnation of the milk and, as a result, to a feverish inflammation. Occasionally, mastopathy can also lead to uncontrolled secretion from the nipple.

This can represent a psychological burden for the women concerned and sometimes also lead to social stigmatization. The mastopathy itself can also be emotionally distressing. Even a harmless breast lump can cause anxiety and depression.

This can be accompanied by pain and a permanent feeling of pressure, which can increase the psychological stress. Breast cancer rarely develops from mastopathy. Cancer comes with other physical and psychological complications that require long-term treatment.

Drug therapy for mastopathy can cause problems if the prescribed painkillers lead to side effects and allergic reactions. The most commonly used active ingredients (paracetamol, ketoprofen, ibuprofen, diclofenac, among others) can cause headaches, dizziness and blurred vision. Severe allergic reactions such as skin rashes and breathing difficulties rarely occur.

When should you go to the doctor?

If changes in the glandular tissue in the breast can be felt, a comparison with the female menstrual cycle should be carried out. If the symptoms occur immediately before the onset of menstrual bleeding, the breast should be examined again after the menstrual period has subsided. If the swelling has completely subsided within a few days, no doctor is needed. In these cases, it is a natural development of the female organism that does not require any treatment. If you still have any uncertainties or fears, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Other symptoms just before your period may include chest pain or a feeling of tightness. If the symptoms persist after menstruation,

In the case of persistent or increasing swelling, palpable lumps or other irregularities, it is necessary to clarify the symptoms. Although mastopathy is a benign change in the tissue and therefore not a potentially life-threatening disease of the breast, the abnormalities in the glandular tissue only occur in connection with the menstrual cycle. Persistent irregularities are signs of another health impairment. Medical tests are necessary for the diagnosis and should therefore be used. It is advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible so that the cause can be clarified at an early stage.

Treatment & Therapy

The treatment of mastopathy is first of all aimed at relieving the discomfort associated with mastopathy. Because an excess of estrogen – i.e. an imbalance in the hormone balance – is often the cause, this excess is compensated for by the administration of progestin . Depending on the cycle, it is taken starting on the 16th and ending on the 25th day of the cycle.

Prolactin inhibitors are used to counteract any tension and cystic changes in the breasts. If the symptoms are more severe, the doctor can also prescribe a drug containing the active ingredient danazol, which causes less estrogen to be released.

In very rare exceptional cases, the breast of the affected person is removed if there is a mastopathy if the risk of developing breast cancer is particularly high, the affected woman has third-degree mastopathy and is not older than 40 years.

Outlook & Forecast

The prognosis of mastopathy is linked to the causative disorder. If the symptoms occur during pregnancy or after childbirth while breastfeeding, a complete cure can be expected as soon as the breastfeeding period is over. If the health irregularities are due to the monthly menstrual bleeding, a complete freedom from symptoms occurs at the latest when the menopause sets in and the menstrual bleeding naturally ends by itself. Even without treatment or therapy, there is a long-term recovery.

However, there are risk factors that must be considered when making the prognosis. If the pain in the chest or the feeling of tension is very pronounced, depending on the personality of the affected patient, emotional stress can occur. In the event of an unfavorable course, these can lead to the development of a mental illness. In addition, cysts or lumps in the breast can trigger the mastopathy.

An operation is often necessary to achieve freedom from symptoms. Every intervention in the organism is associated with an increased risk of complications. Nevertheless, in most cases it is a routine procedure that runs smoothly. If the course of the disease is very unfavorable, the risk of developing cancer is increased. Left untreated, it can lead to premature death.


Unfortunately, there are no preventive measures for mastopathy . It is not known that there is anything women can do to prevent the changes in breast tissue. Nevertheless, it is recommended that all women feel their breasts themselves regularly once a month, on the one hand to quickly identify changes and on the other hand to seek medical help immediately if any abnormalities appear and the first signs of pain arise.


In many cases, mastopathy itself can be treated well if it is recognized early. Follow-up care focuses on the early detection of renewed symptoms. If these occur unexpectedly, this should be clarified with the treating doctor to make sure that there is no serious reason behind it. If the pain is severe, those affected should consult a doctor and possibly have painkillers prescribed. Even if you have unusual symptoms and complaints that last longer than usual, you should go to the gynecologist with a mastopathy.

In general, those affected should focus on a healthy lifestyle with sufficient exercise in the fresh air and a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh food. Yoga and other relaxation exercises can help to increase well-being over the long term.

You can do that yourself

In any case, to exclude a serious disease, mastopathy should be examined by a gynecologist. The individual symptoms can be alleviated by self-help measures.

Cooling compresses, which are best placed on the breasts for ten to fifteen minutes at a time, help with pain. The feeling of tightness in the breasts is relieved with the help of herbal teas, for example hibiscus or sage tea and other types that have a draining or analgesic effect. Some women experience a visit to the saunaas beneficial – but the draining effect does not last long. A well-fitting bra supports the breasts and relieves both pain and uncomfortable tension. Dietary measures help on the bad days. Coffee, black tea, soft drinks and chocolate are best avoided because the ingredients in these can increase the symptoms. Healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are better. Monk ‘s pepper preparations are used in herbal medicine. Homeopathy also recommends the preparations Aristolochia, Conium and Sabal serrulata.