Breast cysts are the non-cancerous lumps in the breast, which are often caused by fibrocystic breast changes, fibroadenomas or fluid filled lumpy sacs. Fibrocystic breast changes include painful lumps in the breasts, which may come and go and change according to the menstrual cycle of women. On the other hand, fibroadenomas are the solid, painful lumps that do not resolve or go away with menstrual changes. They require surgical intervention if they do not resolve on their own. Breast cysts are most common in women during their reproductive ages. Since their cause is mostly unknown, many researchers and medical institutes indicate role of caffeine as a causative factor for Breast Lumps.
Is There A Link Between Caffeine Intake & Breasts Lumps?
According to Sandhya Pruthi, an M.D and internist at Mayo Clinic, there does not seem to be any clear and substantial evidence regarding the role of caffeine in directly causing breast lumps. However, in large doses of caffeine, the coffee indirectly influences the reproductive hormones, which most probably, according to Mayo Clinic, is the prime cause behind development of fibroadenomas. Also, few women have also reported relief from the fibrocystic breast lumps when they reduce their caffeine intake. Though caffeine directly doesn’t surge or cause the development of lumps in breast, but when taken in large amounts, caffeine can alter the hormone levels in the body. This fluctuation of the hormone levels causes breasts cysts/lumps. Although the fibroid cysts in the breasts are non-cancerous, yet they can be very uncomfortable and annoying for the patient.
So, if you are suffering from lot of uncomfortable fibrocystic breast changes, it is recommended to reduce your caffeine intake. There is no concrete medical proof backing this claim of caffeine causing fibrocystic breast changes; however, many women report that cutting down on caffeine in the form of soda, coffee, chocolate and fats helps a lot. Moreover, today many women are suffering from these non-cancerous breast lumps. Many factors like age, reproduction system, dietary factor, caffeine are influential in these cases and one needs to cut down on the actual triggers. According to research, cutting down on caffeine and fat has been very effective in cutting down on breast lumps.
Does Caffeine Help in Preventing Cancerous Breast Lumps?
On the contrary side, there is substantial clinical evidence, which proves that drinking coffee can slightly reduce the risk of cancerous breast lumps. A research study published in the year 2011, titled as “Breast Cancer Research,” concluded that women who drink coffee are less likely or less prone to cancerous breast lumps. The report highlights the role of coffee in reducing anti-estrogen-resistant -estrogen-receptor(ER) negative breast cancer, according to the results of this study. The mechanism involved in coffee reducing the chances of breast cancer is unknown. A meta-analysis report published in the “BMC CANCER,” in March in the year 2011, indicates that not only coffee reduces the risk of breast cancer it also reduces the risk of pancreatic, bladder and prostate cancer.
Characteristics of Breast Lumps
As reported by healthy.net, 30% of the American women suffer from fibrocystic breast disease. The major characteristic of these breast lumps is that they move around freely in the breasts of women. The lumps are tender when touched. The symptoms generally worsen just before the patient hits menstrual stage. These breast lumps are very uncomfortable for some women and are largely more common in women aged between 30 and 40 years. Though there isn’t clinical evidence present which directly relates the cause of breast lumps with caffeine, yet women who have reduced their caffeine intake have seen considerable improvement in the breast lumps.
When to Consult a Doctor Regarding Breast Lumps?
A point of note here is that having cysts/lumps in breasts, doesn’t increase the risk for breast cancer, but these cysts in breasts can influence the cancer examining procedure of the breast and make such screening tests, like mammograms, less effective and can lead to false positive results. To rule out the possibility of a breast cancer, consult a doctor if you are noticing new lumps in the breasts; if there is any bloody discharge from the breasts, if there is bruising seen on the breasts; or if there is a flattening or indentation in nipple area. All these are red flags and patient should immediately seek medical attention. A biopsy can be done to find out if the breast lump is benign or cancerous.
Prevention and Management of Breast Lumps
Apart from cutting down on caffeine by avoiding coffee, chocolate, tea, soda etc., it’s very important for women facing this perturbing issue to consume high fiber food and also increase their intake of seafood. Vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, E and iodine are also very effective in reducing and preventing breast lumps. Even primrose oil according to “New York Times,” reduces breasts cysts/lumps. For breast pain occurring with fibrocystic breast changes, over the counter medications like acetaminophen can be taken. Also, wearing a proper fitting bra along with ice and heat therapy on the breasts helps in relieving the breast pain. In cases, when the pain and the lumps resurge after some time, surgery is required. The surgery done in fibrocystic breast changes is painless and is performed under general anesthesia.
Points to Remember
Whenever, you are in doubt regarding a breast lump, it is best to consult a doctor. Even though, 80-85 percent of the cases, especially women below the age of 40, are benign cases, yet it is better to exercise caution. Women should have mammogram conducted every year. Mammograms are very crucial for women above the age of 40. Moreover, those who have a family history of breast cysts, lumps and cancer should seek immediate medical attention with the appearance of any new breast lumps.
Few symptoms like unexplained weight loss, lumps in armpits, discharges from nipples and swelling of arm indicate serious concern and you should immediately see a doctor. Also, changes in the lumps and breast changes, which have few irregular borders should also be checked at regular interval.
So far, the studies have revealed only mixed results relating to caffeine intake and breast lumps, however, the reduction of caffeine has shown productive results in improving the condition of breast lumps. Therefore, we can definitely say there is a relation between caffeine and breast lumps, albeit an indirect and unproven one.
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