Information for Patients
Most women experience breast changes at some time. Your age, hormone levels, and medicines you take may cause lumps, bumps, and discharges (fluids that are not breast milk).
If you have a breast lump, pain, discharge or skin irritation, see your health care provider. Minor and serious breast problems have similar symptoms. Although many women fear cancer, most breast problems are not cancer.
Some common breast changes are
- Fibrocystic breast changes - lumpiness, thickening and swelling, often just before a woman's period
- Cysts - fluid-filled lumps
- Fibroadenomas - solid, round, rubbery lumps that move easily when pushed, occurring most in younger women
- Intraductal papillomas - growths similar to warts near the nipple
- Blocked milk ducts
- Milk production when a woman is not breastfeeding
NIH: National Cancer Institute
A fistula is an abnormal connection between two parts inside of the body. Fistulas may develop between different organs, such as between the esophagus and the windpipe or the bowel and the vagina. They can also develop between two blood vessels, such as between an artery and a vein or between two arteries.
Some people are born with a fistula. Other common causes of fistulas include
- Complications from surgery
- Diseases, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
Treatment depends on the cause of the fistula, where it is, and how bad it is. Some fistulas will close on their own. In some cases, you may need antibiotics and/or surgery.