Have you heard about this mysterious breast disease that has gripped Pune?

Have you heard about this mysterious breast disease that has gripped Pune?

Pune is apparently under the grip of a mysterious breast disease that is leaving women with swollen breasts and painful lumps

Pune is apparently under the grip of a mysterious breast disease that is leaving women with swollen breasts and painful lumps.

The breast infection is accompanied with nausea and vomiting and women are even being asked to visit oncologists. Women are even complaining of discharge and severe breast infection. In fact a couple have even undergone surgery to drain out the pus. In fact, doctors say that this is an alarming trend which is freaking out women in Pune as it is affecting young women and not lactating mothers of those who suffer from a medical condition. Doctors claim that in the last five years, such cases have risen by over 50 per cent.

  • Six new cases are being detected every month
  • It is affecting women in the age group of 20s and 30s
  • The symptoms are nipple discharge, swollen breasts and breast lumps.
  • The only good thing about it is that it is not breast cancer

What Experts Say

Even doctors have been left baffled by the mysterious disease. "The shift in age and the increase in numbers are worrisome. The troublesome part is that no cause has been detected so far. There are several theories, but nothing has been fixed yet. This means we lack a standard protocol for treating such cases and the infection takes a long time to heal — sometimes several months,” said Dr Anupama Mane, consultant breast surgeon at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune while speaking to a popular newspaper.

"It is an immunological phenomenon, but nobody knows the reason behind the sudden spurt in breast infection. The cases were reported in the past, too, but not with such severity and large numbers. Every month, we see around six new cases and 15 to 30 coming back from before. It resembles breast TB but it isn't that and we cannot come up with a concrete reason. Many a time, due to a misdiagnosis, patients go straight for surgery. But, if this is picked up on early, this isn't required," said Dr CB Koppiker, a senior breast cancer surgeon in the same news report.

Causes of a breast infection

Web MD outlines the following causes and symptoms of a breast infection

  • Breast infections are most common in new mums and happen mostly one to three months after the birth of a baby, but they can also occur in women undergoing menopause.
  • Women with diabetes, chronic illness, AIDS, or an impaired immune system may be more susceptible.
  • It is most common in breastfeeding mothers and could stem from engorgement and incomplete breast emptying.
  • Post menopausal women breast infections may be caused by an inflammation of the nipple ducts.
  • Milk ducts can also become clogged due to hormonal changes.

Symptoms

The key symptoms of a breast infection are

  • Tenderness and swelling
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Breast engorgement
  • Fever and chills
  • Abscess: Sometimes a breast abscess can complicate mastitis.

It is advisable to visit a certified doctor if you happen to experience the above symptoms.

“After the age of 40 or 45 women should have a regular ultrasound and mammogram of the breasts. If they find anything suspicious, they should go to the doctor and discuss what needs to be done, whether a mammogram or an ultrasound of the breast,”says Dr Rahul Manchanda, a leading consultant Gynaecologist Endoscopic surgeon at Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI), New Delhi.

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[Image courtesy: healthxchange.com]
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