Aging Changes in the Breast
Alternate Names : Age-Related Changes in the Breast
As a woman ages, her breasts normally change in certain ways.
What is the information for this topic?
As a woman gets beyond
menopause, her breasts begin to change. These changes are
associated with lower levels of the female hormone estrogen and may include:
a loss of fullness in the breasts
sagging and flattening of the breasts
a decrease in the size of the nipples
a reduction in the ability of the nipples to respond to stimulation
replacement of milk-producing breast glands with fat
Since the sagging of the breasts is a normal part of aging, there are no
exercises that can prevent the change. Exercise that results in weight loss
will reduce breast size, and weight gain will cause breast
Other changes in the breast may be abnormal. The risk of breast cancer rises with age. When
caught early, breast cancer often responds to treatment. A woman should do a
breast self-examination once
a month. Self-exams help a woman learn how her breasts normally feel. Any lumps
or changes should be reported to a healthcare provider.
A woman should discuss the best schedule of mammograms, or breast X-rays, with her healthcare
provider. The best schedule for mammograms is often related to a woman's risk
factors for getting breast cancer. For example, if breast cancer runs in the
family, earlier and more frequent mammograms may be advised. A woman who takes
hormone replacement therapy,
which includes estrogen, will increase her risk of breast cancer.