Today we’ll explain the proper behaviors and attitudes to have in order to avoid mammary cysts, as well as some natural ways to treat them. Don’t miss it!
One of the biggest fears that a lot of women have is breast cancer. However, a lump in the breast isn’t necessarily a sign that you have breast cancer. In this article we’re going to look at some of the different types of cysts that exist, and what you should do if a self-exam or a medical exam from your doctor finds any growths or cysts.
There are many urban legends circulating the internet and other places that say that there is a direct connection between the existence of mammary cysts and the development of breast cancer, but this isn’t the case. However, it is true that the development of mammary cysts can be controlled, minimized, or, even better, prevented altogether, because there are several different behaviors and tips that should help you prevent mammary cysts as much as possible.
Although there is no direct connection between cysts in the breast and breast cancer, several studies have shown that there is a high tendency to develop cysts that can turn into breast cancer in women who have never had children, women with irregular menstrual cycles, or women who have a history of breast cancer in their family.
So what is a mammary cyst?
A mammary cyst is a collection of liquid in the interior of the breast. That is to say, it is a small sack, generally about the size of a chickpea or smaller, which usually contains liquid. There is no clear-cut way to tell when a mammary cyst is about to show up. They can appear in very young women, including children, and they can start to show up about the time that breasts develop, generally from ages 10 to 12.
Although the majority of mammary cysts are filled with liquid, there are also benign cysts that are more solid.
There is another type of cyst, called a fibroadenoma. These tend to be symptomless and painless, usually discovered by feeling a small, hard lump in the breast, movable and, upon touching, generally either smooth or a bit rough, which is caused by a fibroadenoma with lobes, and which moves freely throughout the breast when you touch them; they are also benign. They happen when there is an excessive growth of mammary tissue, and although they may be confused with the mammary cysts that we described above, they are distinct. Fibroadenomas are more common before menopause, and, although they can appear at any age, they tend to appear during puberty and in young adult women because there is a relation between their appearance and the hormonal changes that women go through at this age.
The treatment of these cysts is mostly done through the patient watching out for any changes in their breasts. Surgery is not always necessary, but if you want to remove them, they can be pierced to remove their contents, or if they are hard, removed with surgery.
Mammary cysts: causes
Mammary cysts can have many different causes:
Keeping in mind the anatomy of the breast, it is very common that the lobes in the breast become blocked, which allows liquid to build up inside them, causing a mammary cyst to appear.
It’s also possible that they have a hereditary origin, although this is not common.
Whatever type of cyst, the most common way they form is due to benign changes of the tissue of the mammary glands (fibrocystic breast), which happens mostly at the onset of menopause. This is due to the hormonal imbalances that are produced during this time, but also due to fybrocystic changes (spontaneous changes that are both common and benign in breast tissue). It’s very common, even in healthy breasts, and is believed to be a normal variant.
It’s necessary to understand that mammary cysts happen because of hormone changes unique to every woman. Because of this, breast self-examinations need to be done regularly, because it’s very common that hormones will change in a moment. You should try to give yourself a breast exam at the same time every month.
Likewise, if your diet has a high concentration of xanthines (common in coffee, tea, chocolate, seafood, or sodas), it can cause cysts to be more likely to appear.
One risk factor that can cause the appearance of not only benign cysts, but also malignant ones, is obesity. Obesity can also cause the absence of breast milk in a woman: people who haven’t had children are more likely to suffer from this than people who have. Another factor that can increase the likelihood of mammary cysts is menopause.
Having a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables increases the risk of cysts.
It’s also necessary to let you know that drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are factors that can increase the risk of breast cancer, not just mammary cysts.
There is a popular series of “steps” that pretend to tell you how to cure cysts or avoid them, but they aren’t true. For example, one of the tips is to avoid mammograms because they can harm your breasts. Others are things such as “accidentally hurting your breast causes cancer”, “puncturing the cyst (generally done with a syringe to analyze the content) causes cysts to spread”, or “biopsies can cause cancer to spread”.
You might also hear that using contraceptives or implants can cause cysts or cancer to form.
Don’t pay much attention to these rumors, because we’ve already seen that the cause of these cysts and how they form is actually very different.
Habits and natural remedies to avoid the growth of cysts
We’re going to show you things that you should be doing to avoid the appearance of cysts, or, if you already have them, what you can do to keep them from growing or getting more.
The first is to take good preventative measures. It’s very important to check your breasts, dedicating time to get to know and feel your body, so that you can tell if any new or unusual growths show up early. Feel your breasts at the same time every month, so that you can detect a growth as soon as it appears.
There is a lot that you can do to prevent the appearance of cysts, breast pain, and even breast cancer. An early diagnosis, a healthy diet, and getting to know your body can help your health immeasurably.
If, in your routine breast examination, you find any sort of lump, it’s advisable that you go to a doctor in order to do a simple biopsy. If it is liquid or semisolid, and there is no other signal that indications any negative side effects, such as blood, in 98% of cases it is just a simple cyst. These will not transform into cancer, and they aren’t dangerous. In every case, it’s important to figure out the content of the cyst and try to avoid, if you can, the factors that are aggravating it or causing more, as we’ll see in a bit.
Reduce the amount of fat and refined carbohydrates that you eat
Breast tissue is very sensitive to a diet rich in fat (especially saturated fats and trans fats) and carbohydrates, since they can elevate estrogen levels. The overproduction of estrogen can cause breast tissue to be painful, the formation of cysts in many women, and increase risk of breast cancer and other gynecological cancers.
For the same reason, you should reduce the amount of body fat that you have if you are overweight.
Foods that can help you
The consumption of fiber of a natural origin (especially from whole grains and fruits) is important for the elimination of an excess of estrogen. The cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and turnips, contain a compound called indol-3-carbinol, which can reduce the ability of estrogen to adhere to mammary tissue. Try to eat at least 2 servings of this type of vegetable every week, at least, and if it’s possible, you should try to eat them daily. You can also take extracts of broccoli, or other cruciferous vegetables.
Derivatives of soy, such as tofu, miso, and tempeh, are often recommended for their vegetable phytoestregens, although there are studies for them and against them, so we recommend that you check out the arguments yourself so that you can decide whether or not to eat soy. However, you should avoid genetically modified soy, so look at the labels of the foods that you buy.
A diet rich in whole foods and low in animal fats, will definitely help you in the fight against cysts.
Eliminate milk products
We recommend that you eliminate from your diet all milk products, but especially straight milk. Certainly milk products are important in today’s cuisine, but you should try to avoid them, or at least consume less of them, and if you do eat them, make sure that they are organic, because organic cows are not fed hormones or genetically modified. Try this for a month and observe your body, because we’re sure that you’ll see the difference.
Avoid caffeine and chocolate
You should stay away from foods that contain caffeine like coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, and non-alcoholic beer. These products contain methylxanthines, which can produce an overstimulation of mammary tissue in some women. Avoiding chocolate can be a difficult decision for a lot of people, but if you have breast pains, cysts, etc., try to avoid it for at least one menstrual cycle and see what happens.
Evening primrose oil and starflower oil, rich in omega 6 acids (gammolinolenic acid), can alleviate some breast trouble and diminish inflammation in many women, as with omega 3. This can be found in fish oil (be wary of heavy metals), flaxseed oil, sesame oil, and nut oil. There are studies that show that ingesting omega 3 can protect you against breast cancer. Moringa oil is also rich in omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9, and is one of the best sources of natural antioxidants.
You should take vitamin and mineral supplements, especially vitamin E, vitamin A, coenzyme Q10, and selenium, as these antioxidants are very beneficial.
Iodine can reduce the capacity for estrogen to adhere to receptors in the breast, and thus diminish the pain in these areas. The best way to take iodine is through food; algae such as wakame or kombu can give you iodine in an easy manner. We don’t, however, recommend an excess of iodine to women who have thyroid issues, especially hyperthyroidism.
Green tea extract (Camellia sinensis), about 200 mg. a day, has shown in various studies to aid the reduction of the possibility of breast cancer, and the risk of reappearance.
Salvestrols, present in fruits such as Mandarin oranges, grapes, blueberries, and mulberries, can also help. We recommend that you take a preparation of the necessary concentrations.
Propolis, an extract from beehives, inhibits the activity of the enzyme aromatase, which can help slow down the production of excess estrogen.
The black hoof mushroom (Phellinus linteus) stimulates the production of defensive cells, slowing the growth and formation of certain malignant cells, and reduces cell adhesion; additionally, it inhibits the growth of both types of breast cancer cells. In the case of cancer, you should consume it during and after a cycle of chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment. You can also combine it with different fungi such as almond mushroom (Agaricus blasei), turkey tail mushroom (Coriolus versicolor), or reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum). We recommend that you take them on an empty stomach and accompany them with some kind of citrus juice.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) can help the liver maintain health and correct function, and proper liver function will allow for good levels of estrogen. Milk thistle is also a good antioxidant and additionally has antineoplastic effects (which prevents the development of tumorous cells).
Ditch the underwire bras
Underwire bras can block the circulation of blood and lymph in the chest, the vertebrae, and the back. If it is difficult or impossible for you to switch to non-underwire bras, you should try to wear bras as little as you can.
Castor oil and clay
You can use a castor oil compress to diminish pain and inflammation in the breasts. You should wear it for an hour, three times a week, for two or three months. As a preventative measure, you can do it once a week.
Use a clay poultice or compress to help you avoid pain and inflammation, and help eliminate cysts (we don’t recommend it for cancerous cysts since it could cause them to spread). Leave it on until it has dried and afterwards clean the breast well. Sometimes, you can sleep with a clay compress on, and so it doesn’t dry out you can put some lettuce leaves on it and then wrap or lay an old cotton rag on it.
As we’ve seen, avoiding cysts in the breast or getting rid of them is within your reach, as it doesn’t require a lot of money and only a little bit of vigilance regarding your own body. Keep it in mind and take care of yourself.