Breasts are one of women’s most appreciated attributes by men. Here are some facts about women’s breasts that relatively unknown. Dr Elizabeth Paganelli, General Secretary of the Syngof and Medical Gynecologist from the French city of Tours discussed these points in a review.
1. The two breasts are not the same size.
In fact the two breasts are not equal in size and do not have the same weight. During adolescence, breast sometimes don’t grow in the same way simultaneously. After this period, there is not meant to be a change but a difference may still exist, and a breast (often the left) is bigger than the other. One of nipples can also have a different appearance as well.
Sometimes women are affected by a big difference in the size of their breasts meaning they have what is called breast asymmetry. This can be resolved by aesthetic surgery.
2. Breast can develop to their size in just one month
“During periods, growing breasts is linked to varying rates of estrogen and progesterone during the menstrual cycle,” explains Dr Paganelli.
Breasts can grow very quickly often during the period before menstruation or at the start of your periods. During pregnancy, women can gain up to two cup sizes. During the first few weeks of pregnancy, breast are full of hormones and the stimulated mammary glands will cause swelling.
However it can depend on the woman as the swelling of your breasts is proportionate to the number of mammary glands that you have. The more mammary glads you have the bigger your breasts will get.
3. Men can also be affected by breast cancer
” More rarely, there is a blood flow in the nipple, a change in the nipple or skin of the breast, or the perception of a ganglion in the armpit, ” states Dr Paganelli.
Women are not the only people to be affected by breast cancer. Almost 1% of men are also affected. This cancer develops in exactly the same way in men as it does in women, with the first symptom being a nodule, or a non painful mass appearing on your breast.
This rare and relatively unknown illness means men are often already affected when they go and see the doctor. The causes can be hereditary, linked to age (commonly men over the age of 60), with genetic predispositions or with thorax radiation. Male breast cancer can also appear because of a cirrhosis or even Klinefelter’s syndrome (quite a common sexual chromosome anomaly).
4. Breasts are sensitive to radiation
“Like all radiography, mammography expose us to radiation rays. Being repeatedly exposed can lead to, in very rare cases, cancer. This risk is 1 to 5 deaths to every 100, 000 women who have had a mammography every 2 year from 50 years. The risk is higher for young women whose breasts are dense so therefore require a higher dose of radiation to ensure pictures are legible,” explains Dr Paganelli.
Women less than thirty are especially susceptible to being sensitive to radiation. What is the doctors advise? Avoid thorax radiography and unnecessary mammography and stick to ultrasound.
5. Breastfeeding can prevent certain illnesses
“The studies are rare however apparently if a woman breastfeeds for 7 years in her life she can avoid contracting breast cancer. However in general a woman who has breastfed will still have the risk of developing cancer,” explains Dr Paganelli.
The composition of maternal milk evolves over time so as to give the baby all it’s nutritive needs. Breastfeeding is therefore an important practice whose benefits for the child don’t need to be proven. What is less known is that breastfeeding is a form of protection for the mother in the case of breast and ovarian cancer.