Breast Changes Due to Aging

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Breasts change as women age, as do other parts of the body. Many of these changes are perfectly benign and simply the result of gravity taking its toll. Other times, changes in the appearance or texture of your breasts and nipples can be a warning that something is wrong.

Identification

Older women experience sagging breasts because their breast tissue isn’t as strong as it once was. As a woman ages, she loses mammary glands and these are replaced with body fat, explains MedlinePlus. The breasts tend to become less full and smaller because of the loss of subcutaneous fat and breast tissue.

Features

Older breasts can become saggy and flatten, and the nipples may turn in slightly. The areola, which is the area around the nipple, gets smaller and may ultimate disappear. Hair loss around the nipple also occurs. Lumps may crop up, but do not assume that they are benign. Any time that you detect a lump or see anything suspicious regarding the appearance of your breast or nipples have it examined by a physician. The American Cancer Society recommends getting annual mammograms and clinical breast exams after age 40 and a clinical breast exam approximately every third year for women in their 20s and 30s.

Warning

If the appearance of the breasts or nipples change significantly or feel differently, call your physician. If the skin on your breast or nipple has become swollen, red and scaly or there is a discharge of fluid from your nipple, this needs to be examined immediately. If you feel a lump or are experiencing firmness under your arm or in your breast, you need to be examined.

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