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Know about Breast Infection

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Know about Breast Infection

Mastitis which is also referred as Breast Infection, The infection occurs with in the udder or breast tissue. Pathogen responsible for Breast Infection are  Staphylococcus aureus, some times it may also cause due to pathogen like S. epidermidis and streptococci but they are occasional.

Mastitis is classified in to two one is milk stasis which  non-infectious or infectious inflammation and another one is abscess.

Causes of Mastitis

Infection typically affects the fatty tissue in the breast, causing swelling, lumps, and pain.

Mastitis is most common in Breast feeding women when the nipples become cracked and sore, allowing bacteria from a baby’s mouth to enter the breast, which is also called as lactation mastitis. Mastitis may also occur in women who aren’t breastfeeding, but this is not as common.

  • Most infections are due to breastfeeding or clogged milk ducts,
  • A small percentage of breast infections are associated with rare kinds of breast cancer.
  • Mastitis typically develops when the milk is not properly removed from the breast.
  • Milk stasis can lead to the milk ducts in the breasts becoming blocked, as the breast milk is not being properly and regularly expressed.
  • Non-lactational mastitis occurs in women with weakened immune systems
  • Women with diabetes
  • Women  having lumpectomies with radiation therapy
  • Subareolar abscesses occurs due to blockage of glands under the nipples, in the case infection develops under the skin.

Signs and symptoms

  • Early stages of mastitis can present with local pain, redness, swelling, and warmth.
  • In the later stages systemic symptoms like fever and flu-like symptoms and in rare cases an abscess can develop
  • Breast tenderness
  • feeling ill
  • Swelling of breast
  • Burning sensation while breast feeding
  • Skin redness
  • Fever
  • itching
  • Warm breast
  • Chills
  • nipple discharge pus
  • Symptoms of a breast infection may also be associated with inflammatory breast cancer this may be rare but it is very serious. In this condition  abnormal cells in the breast ducts divide and multiply quickly.
  • A breast abscess is a collection of pus that develops into the breast with different causes.

Risk factors associated with Mastitis

  • Sore or cracked nipples
  • Breast feeding another baby
  • wearing a tight-fitting bra,
  • Following one position to breastfeed


The diagnosis of mastitis and breast abscess is mainly based on physical examination and also depends on signs and symptoms.

  • Breast ultrasound is also performed to diagnose whether abscess or cancer.
  • Cultures needed to determine to diagnose type of organism is causing the infection
  • Mammograms or breast biopsies are normally performed on women who do not respond to treatment or on non-breastfeeding women.


  • 10- to 14-day course of antibiotics is generally the most effective form of treatment for this type of infection
  • If  patient suffering from abscess due to a severe infection may need to be lanced (clinical incision) and drained in the case you need to stop breast feeding temporarily.
  • In the case of breast cancer, treatment is based on stages of cancer. Treatment typically involves chemotherapy, radio therapy,or even surgery to remove the breast and surrounding lymph nodes.

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