A breast abscess can develop from the subcutaneous tissue of the breast, the breast tissue, the milk glands and ducts and from the nipple. They all lead to a painful, swollen lump that usually has all the other signs and symptoms of infection. There may be painful, swollen lumps in the armpit adjacent to the breast involved.
Causes of Breast Abscess
Breast abscesses most commonly occur when infected by bacteria entering through the nipple. This is most common through a cracked nipple during the early days of breast-feeding. Obstruction of the glands of the breast can lead to cysts and infections or abscesses. Infections of the overlying skin can produce an infection that spreads to the subcutaneous tissues.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Abscess
Breast abscesses produce breast pain and tenderness. There is a firm area or lump that develops. The skin over it frequently is hot and red. If the infectious process involves the lymph nodes, tender, painful and sometimes red lumps will develop in the armpit. Generalized symptoms often occur which include malaise, fever and chills and a general ill feeling.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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