Aging Changes In The Breast

Aging 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 areassociated 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 noexercises that can prevent the change. Exercise that results in weight losswill reduce breast size, and weight gain will cause breastenlargement.

    Other changes in the breast may be abnormal. The risk of breast cancer rises with age. Whencaught early, breast cancer often responds to treatment. A woman should do abreast self-examination oncea month. Self-exams help a woman learn how her breasts normally feel. Any lumpsor changes should be reported to a healthcare provider.

    A woman should discuss the best schedule of mammograms, or breast X-rays, with her healthcareprovider. The best schedule for mammograms is often related to a woman’s riskfactors for getting breast cancer. For example, if breast cancer runs in thefamily, earlier and more frequent mammograms may be advised. A woman who takeshormone replacement therapy,which includes estrogen, will increase her risk of breast cancer.

    Article type: xmedgeneral