What Is Breast Asymmetry?
Breast asymmetry is a condition where one breast is different in position, size or shape from the other breast. It is a normal phenomenon in most cases. However, a significant difference or rapid appearance of asymmetry has been linked with higher chances of developing breast cancer.
Who Does Breast Asymmetry Affect?
Breast asymmetry is a very commonplace phenomenon, experienced by almost half of all women irrespective of age and region.
How Does Breast Asymmetry Occur?
Breast asymmetry normally occurs during puberty, when the breast tissue undergoes significant growth and development.
Both breasts can experience development at slightly different growth rates, resulting in slight asymmetry or appearing to have different sizes. They can also experience further changes during life as a response to hormonal changes.
Causes of Breast Asymmetry
Breast asymmetry can be caused by any condition that results in hormonal changes including:
- Hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycles
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- Use of birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives
Other causes including embryological development differences and idiopathic factors such as trauma, burn injury, surgery and infection.
Symptoms of Breast Asymmetry
The most common symptoms include:
- The breasts not matching each other in likeness, position and shape
- A marked breast size discrepancy
Stages of Breast Asymmetry
There are no stages, but the asymmetry can range from indistinguishable to very significant difference.
How Is Breast Asymmetry Diagnosed?
The diagnosis for breast asymmetry is made by taking a complete history and physical examination, including a breast examination.
The doctor will also recommend a mammogram or an ultrasound scan of the breasts to ensure that the difference in shape is not due to breast growth.
Additionally, the doctor may also recommend a biopsy in certain cases, to rule out cancer.
How Is Breast Breast Asymmetry Treated?
Breast Asymmetry if falling within normal parameters and without the absence of breast cancer does not require any treatment as such.
Breast Asymmetry can bring body appearance issues and low self-esteem in a number of cases.
Reconstructive surgery or Aesthetic Breast Surgery can be recommended to
- Improve the shape of the breasts,
- Make them more evenly matched and
- Improve the quality of life for the patient.
What If Breast Asymmetry Is Untreated?
If left untreated or improperly evaluated, cases of significant breast asymmetry can go unnoticed, delaying a diagnosis of breast cancer in some cases until it is too late.