Breast asymmetry is perfectly normal. Over half of all women have some degree of unevenness between their breasts. The larger breast is typically on the dominant side, and the asymmetry is usually quite mild. But what could be the risks of breast asymmetry?
In some cases, the asymmetry may be more exaggerated. The difference could be a cup size or more. If there is more than a 20% difference in size, then you may have a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Risks of Breast Asymmetry
You can address the physical difference with plastic surgery in Houston for an aesthetic improvement if you wish, but it isn’t clear whether or not the removal of excess tissue will decrease your risk.
In order to demystify this statistic, let’s look at:
- the different kinds of asymmetry
- the reasoning behind increased risk
- what you can do to protect your health
The Different Kinds of Breast Asymmetry
There are two primary types of breast asymmetry. Anisomastia marks a significant difference in the volume of one breast in comparison to the other. Anisothelia marks a significant difference in the circumference of the areola or size of the nipple in comparison to the opposite breast. It is possible for one person to have both forms of asymmetry.
The Reasoning Behind Increased Cancer Risk
The link between breast asymmetry and the increased risk of breast cancer is imperfectly understood. At this time, scientists believe that the link is caused by a higher density in the breast tissue.
Otherwise, our understanding of breast asymmetry as a risk factor generally relies on statistics. One particular study has been enlightening. The study, published by Breast Cancer Research in 2006, followed 504 women of a similar age.
Half of these women had developed breast cancer, and half had not. The researchers compared the breast symmetry of both groups to see if breast asymmetry was a statistically significant risk factor. They found that breast asymmetry was generally greater in healthy women who developed breast cancer versus healthy women who did not.
On further investigation, researchers established that every 100 milliliters of fluctuating asymmetry increased the risk of breast cancer by about 50%. The general risk of breast cancer without additional risk factors is relatively low, so this increase is not as alarming as it may sound. However, it is definitely something to keep in mind.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Health
Initially, the statistics around breast asymmetry and breast cancer risk can be quite frightening. In order to better understand the real risk versus the relative risk, you should talk to your doctor. They will be able to ease your anxiety by explaining that your breast cancer risk is still relatively low as long as you don’t have several other risk factors.
With the assistance of your doctor, you should determine a regular self-examination schedule in addition to a mammography schedule. They will help you determine when you should start getting mammograms and how often you should have them. If you’re unsure of how to do a self-examination, ask your doctor to give you a tutorial.
Addressing the Aesthetics of Breast Asymmetry
There’s nothing wrong with breast asymmetry, but some women do find that uneven breasts make certain parts of their life difficult. Finding clothes that fit you well can be particularly challenging. If you decide that the unevenness of your breasts is bothersome to an extent where you would like to have it surgically fixed, then that is your choice.
You can have surgery for breast asymmetry in Houston to even out the symmetry of your breasts. You may choose to have an implant on one side, have a breast reduction on one side, or you may have a fat transfer from one breast to the other. It’s up to you, and your board-certified plastic surgeon will be more than happy to discuss your options with you.