Breast milk: Milk from the breast. Human milk contains a balance of nutrients that closely matches infant requirements for brain development, growth and a healthy immune system. Human milk also contains immunologic agents and other compounds that act against viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Since an infant’s immune system is not fully developed until age 2, human milk provides a distinct advantage over formula.
Children who are breastfed enjoy lower rates of several chronic childhood diseases, including respiratory infections and ear infections as well as diarrhea. Breastfed infants gain less weight and tend to be leaner at 1 year of age than formula-fed infants, resulting in fewer overweight and obese children.
Breastfeeding releases a hormone in a woman’s body that causes her uterus to return to its normal size and shape more quickly and reduces blood loss after delivery. In addition, breastfeeding for longer periods of time (up to 2 years) and among younger mothers may possibly reduce the risks of breast and ovarian cancers.
- Breast pain
Breast pain: Pain in the breast or mammary gland, known medically as mastalgia. From the Greek masto-, breast + algos, pain.
- Breast reduction
Breast reduction: Surgical reduction of breast size in order to reduce the weight of the breasts and relieve symptoms from unusually large, pendulous breasts. The surgical procedure is also known as reduction mammoplasty. The weight of very large breasts can cause back strain and discomfort. The bra straps can indent the skin and fat of […]
- Breast surgeon
Breast surgeon: Usually a general surgeon who is especially skilled in operating on the breast. A breast surgeon may biopsy a tumor in the breast and, if it is malignant, remove the tumor. A breast surgeon may also do breast reconstruction following a mastectomy for breast cancer. The surgeons who carry out this type of […]
- Breast trauma
Breast trauma: Physical damage to a breast. If a breast is injured by trauma, tiny blood vessels may rupture to cause localized bleeding (a hematoma). The hematoma can be felt as a lump. Trauma to the breast can also damage the fat cells in the breast tissue, a condition called fat necrosis. Fat necrosis can […]
- Breast, infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the
Breast, infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the: One of several recognized specific patterns of breast cancer that begins in the cells that form the ducts of the breast. The most common form of breast cancer, it may appear as a smooth-edged lump in the breast. On physical examination, this lump usually feels much harder or firmer […]