Mastitis is an inflammation and infection of breast tissue. Mastitis is due to an invasion of bacteria that enter the breast tissue through the nipple and cause a bacterial infection of the milk ducts and milk glands.
Mastitis most often happens to breastfeeding women because breastfeeding can cause cracked nipples. This allows bacteria to more easily enter the breast. Less often, mastitis can occur on women who are not breastfeeding, especially in women who have gone through menopause. In rare cases mastitis may be a sign of breast cancer. However, mastitis is most commonly due to an infection of the bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus. Breast engorgement can increase the risk of developing mastitis.
Symptoms of mastitis include breast swelling, redness, and pain in the area around the nipple. Left untreated, mastitis can lead to the complication of breast abscess. For more information on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of mastitis.
Making a diagnosis of a mastitis begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination that focuses on the breasts. Mastitis can generally be diagnosed based on symptoms and a physical exam.
Tests that might be performed include a complete blood count (CBC). A CBC is a blood test that measures the numbers of different types of blood cells, including white blood cells (WBCs). Different types of WBCs increase in number in characteristic ways during an infectious or inflammatory process, such as a mastitis. A culture and sensitivity test (C and S) may also be performed. This involves taking a small sample of milk from the affected breast and growing it in the laboratory. This test determines the type of organism causing the mastitis, as well as which antibiotic would be most effective in treating it.
It is possible that a diagnosis of a mastitis can be missed or delayed because some symptoms, such as breast inflammation and pain, are similar to symptoms of other diseases of conditions. For more information about misdiagnosis and diseases and conditions that can mimic mastitis, refer to misdiagnosis of mastitis.
Treatment of mastitis includes medications. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of mastitis. ...more »
Mastitis is a breast infection or inflammation that mostly occurs in breast-feeding mothers.
The typical presentation is a young lactating women with mastitis symptoms such as fever, flu-like symptoms,
and breast tenderness and/or breast redness.
In such cases, mastitis often progresses rapidly over hours, and it is common
for breast-feeding mothers to try to fight off the fever (which may precede
any breast redness), and the fever then rapidly progresses
to more severe symptoms such as high fever, chills, nausea, and so on.
Early treatment of mastitis is desirable for practical comfort in treatment of fever,
and avoidance of the complications of mastitis. ...more »
Symptoms of mastitis include a breast that is painful, swollen, and inflamed, especially near the nipple area. A breast lump or lumps may also occur. Other symptoms can include fever, nipple discharge, and swollen glands (swollen lymph nodes) under the armpit. Swollen lymph nodes can also be tender or painful.
If mastitis is not treated promptly, the ...more symptoms »
The first step in treating mastitis is preventing its occurrence. Prevention includes maintaining good personal hygiene with frequent hand washing and washing the body with soap and water. It is important that women who are breastfeeding clean their nipples before and after each breastfeeding session. It is also a good idea to not stop breastfeeding suddenly and ...more treatments »
A diagnosis of mastitis may be delayed or missed because some symptoms can mimic symptoms of other diseases and conditions. These include fibrocystic breasts, breast cyst, breast cancer, and breast abscess. Symptoms of a mastitis may also be masked or hidden by engorged breasts. ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Mastitis
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symptoms of Mastitis
Treatments for Mastitis
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Wrongly Diagnosed with Mastitis?
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Alternative Treatments for Mastitis
Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Mastitis may include:
- Continue breastfeeding
- Massage breasts with warm castor oil
- Warm compress
- Belladonna homeopathic remedy
- more treatments »
Review possible medical complications related to Mastitis:
Causes of Mastitis
- Blocked breast ducts
- Cracked nipples
- Breast milk oversupply
- Breast bacterial infection
- more causes...»
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Disease Topics Related To Mastitis
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Mastitis: Undiagnosed Conditions
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Misdiagnosis and Mastitis
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Its symptoms can be an inflammation of the breast tissue, such as with...read more »
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Prevention of Mastitis
Prevention information for Mastitis has been compiled from various data sources
and may be inaccurate or incomplete.
None of these methods guarantee prevention of Mastitis.
- Breast hygiene
- Massaging breast lumps - during breastfeeding
- Massaging blocked breast ducts
- Avoiding cracked nipples
- Treating cracked nipples
- more preventions...»
Read more about prevention of Mastitis
Statistics for Mastitis
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Types of Mastitis
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Definitions of Mastitis:
INFLAMMATION of the BREAST, or MAMMARY GLAND.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
Inflammation of a breast (or udder)
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
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