Monday, April 22, 2024

Curious About Breast Sizes


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Dear Helen,

I have always wondered why some people have really big breasts and others small; and why one breast – usually the left – is sometimes so much bigger than the other.

How is it that of some women in the same family, one sister would have tiny, tiny breasts, and another sister huge mammary glands? And what causes the breasts to get so big while breastfeeding, and then shrink back to an even tinier state after weaning?

Curious George Dear George,

In exactly the same way that some men have a large penis and testicles, others have smaller. It is the same for women’s breasts. The main thing is that they are both healthy and can undertake the job for which they were developed, should the need arise.

We all have a more dominant side, as you suggest, and breast tissue contains a fair amount of fatty tissue, as well as glandular. For some it’s their right side and others their left. It’s purely down to genetics as to how we develop and no two people are ever exactly the same, even twins. If there is a “significant” difference in size, it would be sensible for a doctor to see the woman and perhaps run a few tests.

When a woman breastfeeds, as the word suggests, the ‘feed’ for the baby has to develop, and that’s in her breasts. They are full of additional fluid. After lactation ends, the breasts retract in size to a size that their body requires at that time.

If, however, one breast changes shape and/or size, or becomes painful, develops lumps etc., then it’s important to have it checked by a doctor in case something has developed that requires treatment.

It’s an extensive topic, so I’ve had a search to find a suitable online page for you to read, in addition to this.

The following extract is taken from articles/321823 and covers considerably more information than I can cover here.

It’s worth a read.

“Is breast asymmetry a sign of cancer?

Uneven breasts are not usually a cause for concern. However, it is essential to have regular mammograms to ensure that any breast abnormalities are identified early.

Research from 2015 found that women whose breasts vary in size by over 20 per cent may be at higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Any unusual changes in the breast should be checked by a doctor. Changes to look out for include:

• a lump in or around the breast

• a lump under the arm

• tissue that feels thick or firm near the breast or under the arm

• a change in the size or shape of a breast

• changes to the nipple, such as it starts to point inward

• fluid or discharge from the nipple

• red, itchy, or scaly skin around the breast

• dimpled or puckered skin

Other possible causes for an asymmetrical breast density mammogram result include:

• normal variation in the composition of fats and fibrous tissue in the breasts

• a cyst in one breast

• fibrosis, or a large amount of fibrous tissue”

I hope this helps.- Helen

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