Necrosis is the death of some living tissue, such as in the female breast. It usually occurs to a portion of the tissue and is due to injury of some type. For example, the tissue could die due to a blood loss in the affected area or from burning of the area, corrosion or a disease lesion that develops there. According to the online medical dictionary Merriam-Webster.com. Infection due to necrosis is also a possibility.
Necrosis Size and Scarring
The size of necrosis (tissue death) that occurs in the breast tissue will vary based on the type of injury sustained, but regardless of the size of the necrosis, some scarring is highly possible. The scarring can make a woman think she has a breast lump or infection, which might be cancerous or need medical treatment.
A biopsy should be performed to determine if either cancer or infection is present. However, scarring does not always occur with necrosis; sometimes an oil cyst develops instead, notes the American Cancer Society.
Oil Cyst and Infection
When the breast tissue dies, the fat cells in it collapse and leak out their fluid. This fluid then gets trapped between the scar tissue that develops or it forms its own oily sac. Aspiration with a needle (the draining of the fluid from the dead tissue) can help prevent any potential infection due to the oil cysts that develop. Generally this is not done unless complications develop.
Oil Cyst Symptoms
The only symptoms experienced due to oil cyst are generally the feeling of a lump in the breast tissue. If the oil cyst is trapped between scar tissue, the lump will feel hardened, similar to breast cancer lumps and dictating the need for a biopsy to confirm it is benign. Cysts that are in their own oily sac and moving freely in the dead tissue area, will move easily when touched or pressed, and appear soft to the touch.
Sometimes breast tissue doesn't die due to injury, but due to infection. Although this bacterial condition is rare, it can happen, according to the National Institute of Health.The bacteria often gains entry into the body through cuts or scrapes in the affected area.
Unlike cysts that mimic cancerous lumps in the breast, necrotizing infection symptoms can be viewed from the outside of the skin. A small red spot may materialise on the outward portion of the skin first, later turning into a purple- or bronze-coloured area. Immediate antibiotic treatment is recommended for this condition, as it progresses swiftly and can lead to amputation.
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